Tomas Plekanec will return for Canadiens tonight

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After missing the past three games due to an upper body injury the Montreal Canadiens will be getting forward Tomas Plekanec back in the lineup on Tuesday night when they host the Chicago Blackhawks, coach Claude Julien announced.

Plekanec, who last played on March 4 against the New York Rangers, was a full participant at the morning skate and was skating on a line between forwards Brendan Gallagher and Paul Byron.

It’s been a tough year for Plekanec offensively with only 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) in 66 games, but he remains a strong two-way player that is going to give the Canadiens’ third line a lift with his return. With his return Michael McCarron is expected to come out of the lineup.

Prior to his injury Plekanec had been mired in a terrible scoring slump that had seen him record just a single point (an assist) in his previous 15 games. He has just one goal in his past 20.

The Canadiens have been on a roll over the past couple of weeks, winning eight of their past 10 games but remain in a tight race with the Ottawa Senators for the top spot in the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens enter play on Tuesday two points up on the Senators in the standings, while Ottawa still has two games in hand. On Tuesday they get a Blackhawks team that is coming off of a massive 4-2 win over Minnesota on Sunday and has won 13 of its past 16 games.

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