Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov will return from injury tonight at home to Buffalo. And to make his return even more worthy of watching, he’ll be paired with Nikita Nesterov, who will be making his Habs debut after Thursday’s trade with Tampa Bay.
Markov, 38, has not played since Dec. 17 due to a groin injury. The Canadiens went a modest 9-7-3 in the 19 games without him, and they went into the All-Star break by getting badly outplayed in a 3-1 loss to the resurgent Islanders.
With Markov coming off IR, the Canadiens yesterday placed defenseman Zach Redmond on waivers. Redmond cleared today and was assigned to AHL St. John’s.
Montreal holds a comfortable 7-point lead atop the Atlantic Division, but will want to get back on track after sliding into the break on a 4-5-1 stretch.