Davis Drewiske

Trade: Montreal acquires Drewiske from Los Angeles


The Montreal Canadiens added some defensive depth on Tuesday, picking up Davis Drewiske from Los Angeles in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2013, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Drewiske, 28, was signed by LA as an undrafted free agent in 2008 and has spent his entire career with the organization. He’s appeared in 20 games for the Kings this year — scoring 1G-3A-4PTS, averaging 14:28 TOI — and was forced into a more prominent role with the injuries to Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene.

That said, his role has been somewhat reduced recently.

It began after the Kings acquired Keaton Ellerby and continued with the growth of rookie defenseman Jake Muzzin (who recently won the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for March.)

Yesterday, LA beefed up its blueline even further by acquiring Robyn Regehr from the Buffalo Sabres.

In Montreal, Drewiske will get a shot to compete for minutes with injuries to defensemen Raphael Diaz (concussion) and Yannick Weber (knee).

Also, on Monday, the Habs dressed rookie rearguard Nathan Beaulieu for just his second NHL contest in favor of veteran Tomas Kaberle, to give you an idea of what the club thinks of Kaberle at the moment.

Update: Beaulieu has been sent to AHL Hamilton.

Montreal moves: Prust returns from shoulder injury tonight, Kaberle on waivers

Brandon Prust, Justin Peters

Montreal is going to get some of their toughness back tonight against the New York Rangers.

Forward Brandon Prust, who’s been out since March 10 with a separated shoulder, will return to action against his old team. Prust has been a pleasant surprise for how he’s worked out with the Habs this season. His role on a line this year with rookies Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher helped give them a third line with talent and toughness.

The Habs also looked to help free themselves up for the trade deadline on Wednesday by putting veteran blue liner Tomas Kaberle on waivers.

Since coming over from the Carolina Hurricanes in a deal last season, Kaberle hasn’t regained the form he once had with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s played just 10 games this season and has three assists while averaging just over 13 minutes of ice time per game. He’s a third-pair defenseman at best now.

Any team looking to add Kaberle will have to take on his $4.25 million salary cap hit this season and next. That likely means we’ll see him clear waivers tomorrow at noon ET.

Rookie forward Gallagher lifts Canadiens past Bruins


It seemed like anytime there was a mention of the Boston Bruins Wednesday night, Jarome Iginla’s name was usually in the sentence. Reported blockbuster trades do that.

While all that was going on behind the scenes and on Twitter, Montreal Canadiens rookie forward Brendan Gallagher was playing a pivotal role in helping his team get past their arch rivals, the Bruins, in a shootout and back into top spot in the Northeast Division.

The 20-year-old Gallagher, who stands just 5’9″ and 178 pounds, scored late in the third period to get the Canadiens within a goal before Andrei Markov tied the game with nine seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime.

Gallagher then won it in the shootout, scoring the only goal between both teams in what was six-round skills competition, as the Habs completed a late comeback with a 6-5 victory.

Gallagher is now up to 10 goals and 19 points in 29 games. That puts him third in rookie scoring, behind Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers and Cory Conacher of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

And Gallagher seems undeterred by his size, or lack of.

“He shows a lot of character by going to the dirty places and competing,” Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges told the Montreal Gazette.

“He gets hacked and he gets whacked and cross-checked and he’s still going to the front of the net.”

“I don’t know if there are many rookies who have the impact he has on our team.”

The Canadiens improved their record to 21-7-5. Their 47 points lead the Bruins by a single point for the division lead, however Boston does have a game in hand.

Video: Bruins’ Lucic cut after hit from Canadiens’ Subban

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs

Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic received a cut near his right eye following a hit from Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban in the second period of Wednesday’s game.

Subban threw his body in a wild fashion at Lucic, catching him with a hit along the boards, as the Bruins’ power forward was skating the puck through the neutral zone.

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Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Canadiens, Bruins look to break Northeast tie

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 3: Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins lets in a goal against the Montreal Canadiens at the TD Garden on March 3, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Throughout the season, NBCSN will feature the NHL’s fiercest rivalries on Wednesday nights. Tonight the Montreal Canadiens will head to TD Garden for a match against the Boston Bruins at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Bruins and Canadiens have spent the better part of the season battling for the Northeast Division title and that battle is far from resolved. Going into tonight’s contest, the two teams are tied with 45 points, although Montreal has played in one more game than Boston.

Both of these teams have gotten this far thanks to solid defense, strong goaltending, and an offensive core that’s shown its depth this season.

The fact that Boston is in this race isn’t much of a surprise. There was some concern that goaltender Tuukka Rask might not be able to seamlessly assume Tim Thomas’ starting duties, but after serving as a strong backup for years, Rask’s 2013 performance can’t be considered a shock.

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Instead, the Canadiens are the Cinderella story. They’ve benefited from the emergence of rookies Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher, but when the season started, their core wasn’t dramatically different than the one that finished in the basement of the Eastern Conference in 2011-12.

Perhaps the biggest difference has been behind the bench, where Michel Therrien is now running the show. Under him, the Canadiens have gone from one of the worst power-play teams in the NHL to one of the best. Of course, having a finally healthy Andrei Markov join P.K. Subban as the team’s top two blueliners with the man advantage helps too.

Not many teams in the league can afford to take penalties against the Canadiens, but if there’s one that can endure, it’s Boston. The Bruins have a league-leading 91.7 penalty killing percentage.

These two teams have played each other twice this season and both contests were decided by a goal. It wouldn’t be surprising if tonight’s game ended up being just as close.

Probable goaltenders: BOS – Rask (15-4-3, 1.90 GAA, .928 SV%) | MON – Peter Budaj (4-1-1, 2.47 GAA, .903 SV%)

Top scorers: BOS – Patrice Bergeron (9-18-27, 31 GP) | MON – Max Pacioretty (9-16-25, 28 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Boston – Forwards: Chris Kelly (leg), Marc Savard (concussion) Defenseman: Adam McQuaid (shoulder), Johnny Boychuk (foot)
Montreal – Forwards: Brandon Prust (shoulder), Ryan White (lower body), Rene Bourque (concussion) Defenseman: Yannick Weber (knee), Raphael Diaz (concussion)