Montreal Canadiens

Hammond wins first career start as Sens top Habs

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Andrew Hammond made 42 saves to win his first career start as the Ottawa Senators doubled up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 Wednesday night.

Milan Michalek had a goal and an assist and Mark Stone had a goal and two assists for the Senators, who improved to 3-1-1 in their last five.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Kyle Turris had the other Ottawa goals.

The Sens have now won two of three meetings with the Habs this season.

Max Pacioretty had his 27th of the season while Nathan Beaulieu scored his first career NHL goal in the loss.

Pacioretty’s goal came just eight seconds after Michalek opened the scoring at 11:26 of the second period.

The bigger concern for the Habs is the health of their blue line.

Alexei Emelin left the game 20 seconds into the first period with an upper body injury and did not return.

According to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, the club recalled Jarred Tinordi following the game.

Then late in the second period P.K. Subban blocked a Bobby Ryan shot off his right foot. He missed the remainder of the period, but returned for the third. Subban logged 30:45 in ice time in the loss.

Montreal is already without Sergei Gonchar, who missed his second game nursing an upper body injury suffered Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Canadiens blue line could look interesting tomorrow night when they play host to the Florida Panthers.

Dustin Tokarski made 35 saves in the loss.

Video: Habs’ Emelin (upper body) will not return vs. Sens


Alexei Emelin lasted just 20 seconds in Ottawa tonight.

The Habs defenseman attempted to hit Sens’ forward Mark Stone and crashed heavily into the boards in front of the Montreal bench.

He left the game left the game immediately.

The club is calling it an upper body injury.

Emelin has 13 points and a plus-10 rating in 54 games this season while averaging 19:57 in ice time.

The Canadiens are already without defenseman Sergei Gonchar who is nursing an upper body injury following a hit from Leafs’ forward David Clarkson on Saturday night.

Goalie nods: Subban or Rask? Bruins aren’t saying


All the latest from the blue paint…

Intriguing B’s

Tuukka Rask was first off from this morning’s skate but, shortly thereafter, Boston head coach Claude Julien refused to say if it would be Rask or Malcolm Subban in goal tonight versus Edmonton.

There are compelling arguments for both. Subban, Boston’s first-round pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, was recalled from AHL Providence yesterday — where he’s fared remarkably well this season — and would be making his big-league debut against a relatively weak Oilers team.

Rask, however, is the club’s clear-cut No. 1 at present time and the Bruins are desperate for a win. The team heads into tonight’s contest having lost five of six, sitting just two points up on Florida for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

If we had to guess, it’ll be Rask that gets the nod.

For Edmonton, Ben Scrivens will start.


Habs at Sens: Dustin Tokarski vs. Andrew Hammond

Wings at Hawks: Jimmy Howard vs. Corey Crawford

Wild at Flames: Jonas Hiller for Calgary, no word yet on a Minnesota starter.

Kings at Avs: Semyon Varlamov for Colorado, no word yet on a L.A. starter.

Bolts at Ducks: John Gibson for Anaheim, no word yet on a Tampa Bay starter.

Kekalainen ‘worried’ about Murray’s development after three injury-plagued years

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To say Ryan Murray’s had a difficult start to his NHL career is an understatement.

Since being selected second overall at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Murray’s undergone major shoulder surgery and battled through significant knee and ankle injuries. As a result, he’s only appeared in 73 career games for Columbus — the guy taken one spot after Murray, Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk, has played 169 — and now, Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen is expressing concern about just how much time his prized youngster has missed.

“I’m worried about Murray in particular. Two out of three seasons, he really hasn’t played,” Kekalainen explained, per the Columbus Dispatch. “That’s all development time. I think as soon as he gets healthy he’s got to get back to playing.”

Kekalainen’s quotes came during a conversation about potentially shutting down Murray and fellow Columbus prospect Boone Jenner for the remainder of this season. With the playoffs a longshot, some suggest getting Murray back to full health would be in the club’s best interest (same goes for Jenner, who’s only played 20 games this year while dealing with a broken hand and stress fracture in his back.)

The Blue Jackets GM wasn’t having it, though, saying his youngsters need to play as much hockey as they can.

“There is no need for them to recover beyond what their recovery time is,” Kekalainen said. “When [Jenner] is fully healed, he is going to play.

“He’s a young player and he’s got to get back to playing.”

Price leads Habs over Wings with 30th career shutout


Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard had a strong night, but as has often been the case for Montreal’s adversaries this season, he couldn’t outduel Carey Price. The Canadiens netminder turned aside all 25 shots he faced to lead Montreal to a 2-0 victory on Monday.

It was Price’s third shutout in his last eight contests and the 30th of his career. At the age of 27, Price has surpassed Patrick Roy to gain sole possession of fifth place on Montreal’s all-time shutouts list. He still trails Bill Durnan (34), Ken Dryden (46), Jacques Plante (58), and George Hainsworth (75). Price also ranks first in the league with a 1.93 GAA and .935 save percentage in 45 contests. In short, he might become the first Montreal goaltender since Jose Theodore in 2001-02 to win the Vezina Trophy.

Howard matched Price for most of the contest to maintain the scoreless tie until Tomas Plekanec finally scored with 2:30 minutes left in regulation time.

Max Pacioretty added his 26th marker of the season on an empty net.

Detroit has now lost three straight games and has consequently slipped in the fight for the Atlantic Division title. Montreal has a six-point edge over the Red Wings in that battle.