Price, Bergeron and Schwartz Set to Make Debuts, Letang Out & More News

Price Returns for Canadiens

Carey Price will make his first start of 2016-17 with the Montreal Canadiens when they play the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, head coach Michel Therrien announced.

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Price was dominant for Canada at the World Cup of Hockey. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Price, 29, missed the first three games of the season with the flu and reportedly lost between seven and eight pounds with the illness. Price has not started a game with the Canadiens since Nov. 25 when he suffered an MCL sprain that caused him to miss the remainder of 2015-16 season. At the time of his injury, Price had a record of 10-2-0 with a 2.06 goals against average and a .934 save percentage. The Canadiens had started the season by winning nine straight games but ended with a 38-38-6 record and missed the playoffs.

Price was the starting goaltender for Team Canada at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and helped his country to the title before suffering the flu before the start of the 2016-17 season.

Al Montoya has been between the pipes for the Canadiens in Price’s absence this season and has posted a 2-0-1 record with a 1.30 goals against average and a .962 save percentage.

Bruins’ Bergeron to Make Debut

The Boston Bruins will welcome Patrice Bergeron back to the lineup when the team hosts the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, Bruins head coach Claude Julien announced.

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Patrice Bergeron (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Bergeron’s return is a major addition for the Bruins — a team that has scored 11 goals in the season’s first three games and posted a 2-1-0 record. After a 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets to open the season, the Bruins lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 in a game where the team felt the impact of being without Bergeron. The Bruins bounced back with a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.

The team has been lead by forwards Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak who have paced the Bruins in scoring with seven and six points, respectively. Marchand scored five of those points in the team’s season opener.

Bergeron, 31, has spent his entire 12-year career with the Bruins and has been a franchise player for the club since he the Bruins picked him 45th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. In 2016-17, Bergeron skated in 80 regular season games and registered 32 goals and 36 assists. Bergeron’s previous career-high for goals was 31 back in 2005-06.

Bergeron helped Team Canada to the World Cup title this offseason.

Blues’ Schwartz Set to Return Against Oilers

Jaden Schwartz will make his season debut against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, the team announced.

Jaden Schwartz (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Jaden Schwartz (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Schwartz, 24, is returning from an elbow injury he suffered at a practice on Sept. 29. The injury was expected to keep him out of the lineup for at least four weeks, but on Wednesday head coach Ken Hitchcock said Schwartz was getting close to close to making an early return.

The Blues won three straight games to open the season, but 2-1 to the Vancouver Canucks in overtime on Tuesday. The team is currently in first place in the Central Division with seven points.

The team has been lead by forwards Paul Statsny, Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen who are the team’s top three scorers through four games. Statsny and Tarasenko are tied for the team lead with six points and Tarasenko leads the Blues with four goals. Steen has a goal and four assists on the season.

Schwartz will add to the team’s offensive productivity as they look to carry on the success they have had to start 2016-17. Schwartz registered 22 points in 33 regular season games in 2015-16 and missed 49 games with a fractured ankle.

Schwartz averaged nearly 78 games played and 27 goals in each of the previous two seasons.

Letang Out Against Sharks

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without defenseman Kris Letang when they face the San Jose Sharks in a rematch of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final on Thursday.

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Kris Letang (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Letang is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, according to Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan. Letang was injured after a hit by the Montreal Canadians’ Brendan Gallagher during a game between the clubs on Tuesday.

Letang, 29, has skated in four games this season and has averaged 26:09 in ice time. He has scored two assists and is a minus-two. Both of his points have been scored on the power play — a unit that benefits greatly from his speed leaving the Penguins’ defensive zone.

The Penguins are also without Sidney Crosby who is recovering from a concussion. Forward Conor Sheary is day-to-day and will not play on Thursday. Sheary, 24, has tallied a goal and two assists in four games.

Odds and Ends

— The Coyotes will start start goaltender Louis Domingue against the Canadiens, the team announced on Thursday. Mike Smith will return to Arizona to undergo a consultation with team doctors for what is currently being called a lower-body injury.