Emelin to make series debut for Habs in Game 5

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Montreal will get an added physical presence on defense tonight when its series versus the Rangers heads back to the Bell Centre.

Alexei Emelin, who’s been out since the end of the regular season with a lower-body ailment, will draw back in for Thursday’s Game 5, per TVA.

Emelin sat out the final two games of the year, then the first four games of the playoffs. This came after he served as a regular lineup presence for the Habs, scoring 10 points in 76 games while averaging 21:19 TOI per night.

The 30-year-old Russian will undoubtedly bring some some energy for the Habs tonight. He led the team in hits during the regular season, with 241, and will probably throw his weight around as the Canadiens look to take a 3-2 series lead.

Based on this morning’s skate, Emelin will be paired with Nathan Beaulieu. Andrei MarkovShea Weber and Jordie BennJeff Petry made up the other pairs, meaning Brandon Davidson — who played 13:51 in the Game 4 loss — is the odd man out on defense.