Canadiens head coach Randy Cunneyworth, clearly looking to get a few of his underachieving veterans kick-started has moved Michael Cammalleri up to replace the slumping Max Pacioretty on the line with an equally slump-ridden Tomas Plekanec and Erik Cole, who is definitely not in a slump.
Pacioretty will play with David Desharnais and Andrei Kostitsyn tomorrow night while Lars Eller, Michael Blunden and Travis Moen will make up the third line.
Team captain Brian Gionta practiced with teammates wearing a no-contact jersey for the first time since he suffered a groin injury December 8th against Vancouver. He split time with Louis Leblanc on a fourth line with Petteri Nokelainen and Mathieu Darche. Gionta won’t play against Winnipeg, but is thought to be a possible for Saturday night against Tampa Bay.
When Gionta returns, barring further injuries, it will leave only Scott Gomez and Ryan White on injury reserve. Both continued their skating rehabilitation on the Brossard alternate rink this morning. White has missed the entire season following sports hernia surgery. Gomez has missed 17 games since a groin injury November 25th against Carolina. All tolled he’s missed 26 of the Canadiens first 39 games. Earlier his shoulder was damaged in Pittsburgh October 20th an injury that sidelined him another nine games.
Tuesday’s Practice Lines
Cammalleri – Plekanec – Cole
Pacioretty – Desharnia – Kostitsyn
Moen – Eller – Blunden
Darche – Nokelainen – Leblanc/Gionta
Gorges – Subban
Diaz – Emelin
Gill – Weber
Probable Healthy Scratches – Campoli/Weber