Tomas Plekanec, Rene Bourque and Andrei Markov will finally see action Saturday night in the Canadiens fourth pre-season game. The last time the trio played in any form of a game was that intra-squad affair at the Bell Centre last Saturday.
In the absence of regular right winger Brian Gionta, Plekanec and Bourque have been practicing regularly with rookie Christian Thomas. That linemay remain intact for the game although Michel Therrien might be tempted to try Daniel Briere with Plekanec and Bourque. Gionta is expected play in his first exhibition game in one of the Ottawa games next week.
Ten players who were in Friday night’s lineup in Quebec City will be playing in their second consecutive game including Michael Blunden and rookie forwards Thomas, Michael McCarron, Sebastian Collberg, Michael Bournival; defencemen Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi, Magnus Nygren and Darren Dietz plus goaltender Dustin Tokarski.
With the Canadiens expected to cut their training camp roster from 38 to a more manageable 25 sometime during the weekend, this will be the last chance for the young players to make an impression on the coaching staff. All but two or three of them will find themselves in the Hamilton Bulldogs training camp next week.
Saturday’s Canadiens Lineup
11 – Brendan Gallagher RW
14 – Tomas Plekanec – C
17 – Rene Bourque _ LW
25 – Michael McCarron – RW
38 – Sebastian Collberg -RW
45 – Michael Blunden -RW
48 – Daniel Brière – RW
49 – Michaël Bournival – C
53 – Ryan White – RW
57 – Martin St-Pierre – C
60 – Christian Thomas -LW
81 – Lars Eller – C
Probable Canadiens Lines
17-Rene Bourque – 14-Tomas Plekanec – 48-Daniel Briere
49-Michaël Bournival – 81-Lars Eller – 11-Brendan Gallagher
25-Michael McCarron – 57-Martin St. Pierre – 38-Sebastian Collberg
60-Christian Thomas – 53-Ryan White – 45-Michael Blunden
79-Andrei Markov – 61-Raphael Diaz
24-Jarred Tinordi – 64-Greg Pateryn
84-Darren Dietz – 36-Magnus Nygren
30-Carey Price (35-Dustin Tokarski)