The Montreal Canadiens will have a pair of veteran forwards back in the lineup on Thursday night vs. Ottawa.
Travis Moen, out with a facial injury since Oct. 26, will play for the first time in five games while fellow forward David Desharnais will draw back into the lineup after being made a healthy scratch in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Blues.
Moen, 31, has appeared in 11 games for Montreal this season, recording two assists while averaging 12:13 TOI per game. While his offensive production has been limited, it’s still more than what Desharnais has provided.
The 27-year-old has just one point in 15 games this year, his first of a four-year, $14 million extension signed in March.
“He wants success and we’re working with him to make sure that he’s going to get some success,” head coach Michel Therrien told the Montreal Gazette upon making Desharnais a scratch. “But obviously, the success is not there.
“So now we’re in a position, we have to make decisions.”
Desharnais acknowledged he wasn’t playing as well.
“[Therrien] just wants me to compete a little bit more,” he explained. “I’m not producing the way I would like to, and just chip in and help the team win.”
The diminutive center burst onto the scene in ’11-12, scoring a career-high 60 points in 81 games, finishing 24th in the NHL with 44 assists (more than Patrick Kane, Jordan Eberle and Patrice Bergeron). That earned him the big-money extension, which has raised expectations and demands.
The Habs dressed 30-year-old journeyman Martin St. Pierre in Desharnais’ place on Tuesday, and it’s expected St. Pierre will be out of the lineup tonight against the Sens.