The Montreal Canadiens will welcome Alex Galchenyuk and Andrew Shaw back to the lineup when they face the New York Rangers on Saturday.
Galchenyuk has been out since he suffered a knee injury against the Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 4. At the time he was injured, he was one of the Habs’ most productive forwards with nine goals and 14 assists in 25 games. He had also found good chemistry playing alongside Alexander Radulov and Max Pacioretty on the team’s first line.
He returned alongside Radulov and Pacioretty at the Canadiens’ morning skate on Saturday and is expected to slot back into that spot against the Rangers, according to head coach Michel Therrien.
"We'd like to keep that line of Galchenyuk, Pacioretty and Radulov together and get it going." – Michel Therrien #GoHabsGo
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) January 14, 2017
Shaw will also make his return to game action for the first time since he was hit hard by Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug on Dec. 12 and subsequently experiencing concussion-like symptoms. Shaw has tallied 15 points in 29 games — his first with the Canadiens since arriving to Montreal in the summer after five seasons as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. His 58 penalty minutes pace all Habs players and he has been effective in a depth role with the team during the first half of the season before his injury.
The Canadiens are first in the Atlantic Division with a 26-11-6 record and have won four of their past six contests. In their last game, however, the Habs were beaten by the Minnesota Wild, 7-1, on Thursday. They will be looking to bounce back with Galchenyuk and Shaw in the lineup on Saturday.
Marchand Tallies Five Points vs. Flyers
The Boston Bruins received a five-point effort from Brad Marchand as they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 6-3, on Saturday afternoon.
The 28-year-old forward tallied two goals and three assists in the win, which also had a special meaning because it marked the 500th game of his NHL career. Marchand has now registered 12 points in his past seven games and the Bruins are starting to see the results in the standings, as they’ve won three of their past five games.
He signed an eight-year, $49 million contract extension during the offseason after setting career highs in goals (37) and points (60) in 2015-16. He’s taken on an increasingly bigger role in the team’s offense, as they’ve made changes to their lineup over the past few seasons.
Marchand’s biggest moment of the game on Saturday came when he was on the penalty kill and broke away Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov. He was being hooked by Provorov as he slid the puck past goaltender Michal Neuvirth to tie the game at one goal a piece in the first period.
Ironically, when asked post-game about what it meant to have such a big performance in a milestone game of his NHL career, Marchand said he had not been aware it was his 500th contest before the game started.
Odds and Ends
— Brandon Wheat Kings forward Nolan Patrick returned to the team’s lineup against the Kootenay Ice on Friday and made an impact immediately. Patrick missed 35 games with a sports hernia but returned to the Wheat Kings and tallied two goals and two assists in their 8-5 victory. The 18-year-old center is projected to be a top pick at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
— Brandon Wheat Kings (@bdnwheatkings) January 14, 2017
— The Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned forward Matthew Peca to the Syracuse Crunch (American Hockey League). The 23-year-old forward played nine games during his call-up to the NHL club and tallied a goal and an assist.