The Montreal Canadiens will be forced to face the Philadelphia Flyers without their starting goaltender Carey Price at the Bell Centre this evening.
Price is suffering from a stomach flu which has forced him out of the lineup for an unknown amount of time. The Habs have called up Robert Mayer from the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs to be Peter Budaj's back up for tonight's game. Budaj has only played two games this season, which resulted in a 5-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on January 30 and a 5-4 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres on February 7.
Michel Therrien doesn't believe that Budaj has been given the proper opportunity to showcase his goaltending skills so far this season. Both his starts came on back-to-back nights that required the team to travel as well.
Max Pacioretty echoed that sentiment.
"We have let Budaj down the past two games he has started, we owe him a win," the forward said following Saturday's morning skate.
This has been somewhat of a challenging start to the season for Pacioretty, who has six assists but no goals. Not an easy thing for a player who scored 33 goals last season to deal with. In order to try and get him, along with his usual linemate from last season David Desharnais going, Therrien decided to shake up the lines, reuniting Desharnais and Pacioretty on a line with rookie right winger Brendan Gallagher. However, if the lines aren't creating the chemistry Therrien is hoping for he isn't afraid of making line combination changes throughout the game.
Projected lines for tonight's game:
Bourque - Plekanec - Gionta
Prust - Galchenyuk - Cole
Pacioretty - Desharnais - Gallagher
Moen - Eller - Armstrong
Markov - Emelin
Gorges - Diaz
Bouillon - Subban