The Canadiens seem to be making the assumption that Brandon Prust will be cleared to play in the opening game of the playoffs on Wednesday.
During practice Tuesday, Prust was practicing on a line with Thomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher. This is a change from the Monday workout when Rene Bourque and Daniel Briere alternated on Plekanec’s left wing. Prust has been recovering from a rib injury suffered March 18th against Colorado.
Travis Moen also returned to practice, albeit with a no-contact jersey, for the first time since he suffered a concussion in a fight three weeks ago. He’ll travel with the Canadiens to Tampa on Tuesday, but still is adhering to concussion protocol which makes his return indefinite.
If Prust is cleared to play, some key pieces will fall together in the Canadiens lineup. Prust’s presence allows Briere to drop into his natural centre ice position on a fourth line with Michael Bournival and Dale Weise. Back from a week long battle with the flu, Lars Eller will centre the third line with Rene Bourque and Brian Gionta.
Canadiens Practice Combinations – Tuesday
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Vanek
Prust – Plekanec – Gallagher
Bourque – Eller – Gionta
Bournival – Brière – Weise
Markov – Emelin
Gorges – Subban
Bouillon – Weaver
Extras – Forwards – White, Parros. Defence Murray, Tinordi
- From Tampa comes news that goaltender Ben Bishop will not start game one for the Lightning. He’s bothered by a left elbow injury and is still listed as day-to-day. 6’6″ Anders Lindback will replace him for Game One. Lindback finished the season with a 8-12-2 record with an .891 save percentage but since Bishop went down with his injury three weeks ago Lindback is 3-0-0 with a 0.67GAA and a .975 save percentage, stopping 77 of 79 shots.