Obviously Michel Therrien liked what he saw in Tuesday night’s win over at the Bell Centre. He practiced the same lines and defense pairings Thursday morning that produced six goals against the Wild and that appears to be what we’ll get Friday in Washington.
That means Brendan Gallagher with Pacioretty and Desharnais and Daniel Briere on the left wing of the Plekanec line.
Rene Bourque will be left out of the lineup for the second straight game with a lower body injury. He’s the 11th member of the team to miss at least a game due to injury; a total of 102 man-games.
With Bourque out, Briere will be back on the left side of the Plekanec line. Briere said after Tuesday’s game that, if he has to play on a wing he’s actually more comfortable on the left, which as a right shot, is considered his “off wing”. During his Thursday morning news conference, Therrien added, “He can play both wings but if you check his career, where he scored most of his goals is on the left side.”
On Max Pacioretty’s hattrick Thursday, “He was playing between the dots. He was going hard to those dirty areas to make something happen. It’s something we’ve been talking to Max about – going hard to the net. ‘Don’t play on the outside. You’re a power forward. You need to create offense’ And that’s exactly what he did.”
And about Brendan Gallagher, Therrien said, “He’s got passion. And with his passion he’s got a good attitude and work ethic. And that’s contagious. So, for me it’s not a coincidence that everywhere we put him he has success. He works so hard you have no choice but to follow that work ethic.”
Peter Budaj will get the start in Washington with Carey Price back in the nets for Saturday night’s game against Washington.
This is the fifth of seventeen occasions this season in which the Canadiens are asked to play two games in a twenty-four our time span. The Canadiens will have to do it again next Friday and Saturday when they play in Washington again and then host Toronto.
Thursday’s Practice Lines and Defense
RW – George Parros and D-Douglas Murray are probable healthy scratches in Washington.