Diaz (concussion) returns after missing 25 games

Montreal is getting some help to their back line when they face Washington tonight.

Defenseman Raphael Diaz makes his return to the Habs lineup after missing 25 games with a concussion. Coach Michel Therrien says they’ll watch him closely to see how he responds to game action after such a long layoff.

“We’ll manage his ice time depending on how he feels. We’ll see how his conditioning and timing are and go from there,” Therrien said.

The Canadiens have four games left in the season and they’ve struggled a bit lately on defense. They lost Alexei Emelin for the season with a knee injury and they’ve had a hard time replacing his defensive toughness. The effect that’s had on Carey Price of late has not been good as the Habs have given up 24 goals over their last six games since losing Emelin.

Diaz won’t bring that kind of game to the ice but if he can improve upon their play as a unit, Price will be more than thankful for it.

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