Montreal Canadiens

Parenteau back in Montreal lineup after agent’s tweet

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It appears P.A. Parenteau will draw back into the Montreal Canadiens lineup tonight when they play host to the Ottawa Senators.

Parenteau, who has missed time this season due to a concussion, was a healthy scratch for a fourth consecutive game on Tuesday night as the Montreal Canadiens were blanked 1-0 by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Parenteau’s absence from the Habs’ lineup prompted his agent to take to Twitter postgame.

Parenteau has six goals and 15 points in 41 games this season while averaging 14:49 in time on ice.

The 31-year-old skated alongside Alex Galchenyuk and Tomas Plekanec at the team’s morning skate Thursday.

It’s not the first time Walsh has been outspoken about a player’s ice time.

During the 2011-12 season Walsh voiced his displeasure over then Columbus Blue Jackets’ forward Derick Brassard being a healthy scratch.

Since Walsh had success with Parenteau, TSN’s Gord Miller is hoping he can help him as well.

Johnson, Lightning edge Canadiens

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Tyler Johnson scored 1:03 into overtime as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 Tuesday night.

Johnson’s shot deflected off of Habs’ defenseman Tom Gilbert and past Carey Price.

With the win, Tampa (42-20-6) has now won four straight and moved to within one point of Montreal (42-18-7) for top spot in the Atlantic Division.

Ben Bishop made 19 saves for his third shutout, but the story of the night was Price.

The Canadiens starter made 35 saves in the loss. The shot attempts in the game were 75-38 in favor of the Lightning.

One of Price’s bigger saves came midway through the third. He stopped Alex Killorn on the original shot and then reached out to stop Ryan Callahan on the rebound.

Have a look:

With the Habs failing to score in the loss, the agent for P. A. Parenteau felt like he had a solution.

Tampa played the third period without forward Ondrej Palat, who left the game late in the second period after blocking a shot. The team called it a lower body injury.

The Lightning have won the first three meetings in the season series between the two clubs. They’ll meet again on March 16 in Tampa.

Related: Bolts admit ‘there’s a lot at stake’ tonight in Montreal

Tampa’s Palat (lower body) done for the night

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Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ondrej Palat suffered a lower body injury in the second period and will not return to tonight’s game in Montreal.

According to Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Bay Tribune, Palat blocked a shot in the second period and did not play another shift following the 17:57 mark of the middle frame.

Palat has 15 goals and 37 points in 63 games this season.

Goalie nods: Pickard replaces injured Varlamov; Roy says start would be ‘unfair’ to Berra

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Pickard starts, Berra backs up

Having gone 8-3-0 in their last 11, the Avs are on the fringe of playoff contention and —  with a win against Los Angeles and a Jets regulation loss in St. Louis tonight — would be just five points back of the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.

As such, Patrick Roy is replacing injured No. 1 netminder with AHL recall Calvin Pickard, rather than backup Reto Berra.

“It’s very simple. Reto’s been practicing really well and the three games he came in for relief he did a good job for us, but he hasn’t started a game since Nov. 25,” Roy explained, per the Denver Post. “It’d be unfair to put him in a situation like this, such an important game for us.

“All the games Calvin played for us, he played really well. He’s one of the reasons why we’re in the position today of still having a chance to make the playoffs.”

Pickard, 22, is 6-6-3 this year for Colorado, posting  a .936 save percentage and 2.18 GAA. Berra, who has spent most of the season in Roy’s doghouse, had a couple of decent relief outings in February — stopping 22 of 23 shots against the Coyotes and Predators — but didn’t look great in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Minnesota, allowing one goal on four shots after Varlamov left with a lower-body injury.

No word yet on who’ll start for the Kings tonight.

Elsewhere…

Rangers at Isles: Cam Talbot vs. Jaroslav Halak

Stars at Flyers: Kari Lehtonen (probable) vs. Steve Mason

Jackets at ‘Canes: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Cam Ward

Bolts at Habs: Ben Bishop vs. Carey Price

Bruins at Sens: Tuukka Rask vs. Craig Anderson

Jets at Blues: Michael Hutchinson vs. Brian Elliott

Devils at Wild: Cory Schneider vs. Devan Dubnyk

Bolts admit ‘there’s a lot at stake’ tonight in Montreal

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A quick rundown of all that’s on the table tonight when the Habs host the Lightning at the Bell Centre:

— With a regulation win, Tampa Bay can draw even with Montreal on 90 points atop the Atlantic Division.

— With any sort of win, Montreal moves into first place in the NHL.

— Montreal swept Tampa Bay 4-0 in the opening round of last year’s playoffs. This season, the Lightning have returned the favor, sweeping both matchups (by a combined score of 11-3.)

Needless to say, this evening’s affair promises to be engaging.

Just ask the Bolts.

“There’s a lot at stake,” Brian Boyle said, per the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone’s jockeying for position.”

“This is a big test,” added Steve Stamkos. “We realize how tight it is in our division, and obviously playing head-to-head is a big swing.”

Montreal players seem to recognize the significance of what the Bolts represent as well. While the Habs have run roughshod against the Eastern Concerence this year — they’re 14-2-1 against the six other teams currently in playoff position — their inability to handle Tampa Bay has stuck out.

“We haven’t had very much success against them in the two games,” Brendan Gallagher explained, per NHL.com. “They really dominated us in all facets of the game, so we want to come out and show that wasn’t us either.

“We want to change the storyline a little bit.”

Finally, tonight’s game represents a chance for both teams to roll out their latest acquisitions. Given that this is the first of three more meetings this season — Montreal and Tampa Bay play again on Mar. 16, then again on the 30th — the new faces will have plenty of opportunities to experience this simmering rivalry: Montreal will trot out Jeff Petry, Devante Smith-Pelly, Jacob De La Rose, Torrey Mitchell and Bryan Flynn for the first time against Tampa Bay, while the Bolts will send out d-man Braydon Coburn and, possibly, forward Vladislav Namestnikov, who could draw in for the injured J.T. Brown.