Alexei Emelin will miss Saturday’s tilt against the Avalanche because of a lower-body injury. Greg Pateryn will take his spot in the lineup.
After a difficult 2014-15 season, Emelin has been a steady presence on Montreal’s second pairing with Jeff Petry this year.
It’s the first time all season that the Canadiens will be forced to make a change on defense, as Pateryn and Jarred Tinordi have served as healthy scratches in each game.
Speaking of healthy scratches, Alexander Semin will make his return to the lineup after watching the last seven games from the press box.
As has been the case throughout his career, Semin has struggled with consistency in his first year with the Habs. The 31-year-old has one goal and three points in 10 games this season.
Paul Byron will come out of the lineup to make room for Semin.