Montreal places veteran Rene Bourque on waivers

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There was a time when Rene Bourque was seen as a capable top-six forward and while the 32-year-old has struggled over the last few years, he did score eight goals and 11 points in 17 games during the 2014 playoffs. He hasn’t been effective this season though and that’s led to the Montreal Canadiens putting Bourque on waivers, per TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie.

Bourque is in the fifth season of his six-year, $20 million contract. Under the old CBA, the Canadiens could rid themselves of his cap hit by storing him in the minors, but now his average annual salary will still partially count against the cap even if he’s playing in the AHL.

Prior to being waived, he was listed as a healthy scratch for two straight games. He has just two assists and a team-worst minus-nine rating while averaging 12:20 minutes per contest in 13 games in 2014-15.

Montreal also called up Jarred Tinordi and returned Drayson Bowman to AHL Hamilton.

Video: Canadiens retire Guy Lapointe’s No. 5 jersey

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The Montreal Canadiens, the most famed and historic of all the National Hockey League franchises, retired Guy Lapointe’s No. 5 jersey to the rafters at the Bell Centre on Saturday.

The ceremony took place prior to puck drop between the host Habs and visiting Minnesota Wild.

From The Canadian Press:

Lapointe’s will be the 18th Habs jersey to be retired and marks the last of the Big Three defencemen from the Habs’ juggernaut team of the 1970s to get the honour — Serge Savard’s No. 18 was retired in 2006 and Larry Robinson’s No. 19 in 2007.

“I’ve been thinking about this every day ever since (Canadiens owner) Geoff Molson told me about it in June,” said Lapointe, as per The Canadian Press.

Montreal snaps three-game skid with SO win over Sabres

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It wasn’t Montreal’s best game, but they managed to come away with two points in a 2-1 shootout victory over Buffalo.

The Canadiens needed to stop the bleeding after dropping their last three games, but outside of shootouts they haven’t won since Oct. 25. Their early season inability to finish games before the shootout might hurt later on as right now they would lose in a tiebreaker to division rivals Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Boston if it came down to ROW (regulation and overtime wins). They also haven’t scored more than two goals in any of their last six games.

Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau was the team’s offensive leader tonight, breaking the scoreless tie early in the third period and then beating Sabres goaltender Michal Neuvirth on the deciding goal of the shootout.

Goaltender Dustin Tokarski deserves a lot of credit for this win though as he turned aside 31 of 32 shots in regulation. Although Montreal has used him sparingly, he’s provided the Canadiens with quality starts whenever Carey Price needs a breather.

With this loss, Buffalo has now fallen to 3-9-2 this season.

Flames hand Canadiens first home loss of the season

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The Calgary Flames responded to a 2-1 shootout loss at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens last Tuesday with a commanding 6-2 win Sunday night over the Habs.

The Flames scored three unanswered to lead 3-0 after 40 minutes and added three more in the third to improve to 5-2-0 on the road this season.

Jonas Hiller made 18 saves in the win.

The loss was Montreal’s first on home ice this season dropping the Canadiens to 4-1-0 at the Bell Centre.

Josh Jooris and Markus Granlund made it 2-0 after 20 minutes. Curtis Glencross made it 3-0 with his second of the season late in the second.

After Max Pacioretty got the Canadiens on the board 37 seconds into the third, Jooris picked up his second of the night making it 4-1.

Lance Bouma gave Calgary a 5-1 lead and captain Mark Giordano picked up his third of the season into an empty net for Calgary’s sixth goal of the night.

Lars Eller had the other Habs goal.

Carey Price made 30 saves in the loss.

Price downplays start as Canadiens host Rangers

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One can only wonder ‘what if’ as the Montreal Canadiens get set to host the New York Rangers at the Bell Centre Saturday night.

The Rangers and Canadiens of course met in last spring’s Eastern Conference final, which saw Carey Price go down with a knee injury during Game 1 after Rangers forward Chris Kreider ran into the Habs’ starter.

New York defeated Montreal in six games to advance to the Stanley Cup final where they lost to the L.A. Kings.

“The fact we lost Carey Price was a huge loss for us, but we’re never going to know if it would have been different,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien told NHL.com. “It’s easy to speculate about the result, but we’re never going to know. One thing we do know is [the Rangers are] a good hockey team, they work hard, they have a good structure and they’re tough to play against.

Price, who went 8-3 with a 2.15 GAA through the first two rounds of last spring’s playoffs prior to the meeting with the Rangers, is naturally downplaying the significance of tonight’s game.

“It’s not about focusing on individuals on a team, it’s about trying to win the game,” Price said. “That’s the only thing we have to focus on.

“They’re a good hockey club. There’s a reason they were in the Stanley Cup finals last year. They got great goaltending, and they play as a unit. It’s definitely going to be a good challenge for us.”

Forward Brendan Gallagher added tonight’s game won’t change what happened.

“We’re not going to be able to be back in that situation by winning this game,” he said. “I think it’s something that’s over with, we have to learn from it, be better for it this year, but we can’t be playing with vengeance in our minds.”

The Canadiens are off to a hot start at 6-1-0 and Price is in fine form at 5-1-0 with a 2.96 GAA.

The Rangers meanwhile have won three of four since an embarrassing 6-3 loss at home to the Toronto Maple Leafs Oct. 14.

Kreider, who will likely be booed relentlessly tonight by the Bell Centre crowd, had eight points in last spring’s eastern final and has started this season with two goals and six points through seven games.

“I would think now that the series has gone by, everyone is calmer and cooler,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said of the incident between Kreider and Price. “Everybody on both teams, and anybody watching, knows that was just a pure accident. It’s unfortunate it happened. I’m sure everyone knows it was a pure accident.”

Henrik Lundqvist (4-2-0) will get the start for New York.

Saturday concludes a two-game road trip for the Rangers while the Habs will head out on the road for a three-game western road trip beginning Monday.