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COLUMBUS — When the Canadiens arrived for an optional morning skate Tuesday at Nationwide Arena there were two medical updates written on the board in their locker room.
Jonathan Drouin is out for a minimum of eight weeks following wrist surgery on Monday and Paul Byron is expected to be out for four weeks after having knee surgery on Tuesday. Drouin’s surgery was performed by Dr. Ed Harvey at the Montreal General Hospital, while Byron’s surgery was performed by Dr. Thierry Pauyo.
Both players suffered their injuries during the third period of last Friday’s 5-2 win over the Capitals in Washington. Drouin had 7-8-15 totals in 19 games and was plus-4, while Byron had 1-3-4 totals in 19 games and was plus-3.
Charles Hudon, who was called up again from the AHL’s Laval Rocket on Sunday, will be in the lineup Tuesday night against the Blue Jackets (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio).
Carey Price, who has a 10-4-2 record with a 2.61 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage, will start in goal for the Canadiens. Coach Claude Julien wouldn’t say who he’s planning to start in goal Wednesday night at the Bell Centre against the Ottawa Senators. Backup goalie Keith Kinkaid has a 1-1-2 record with a 4.23 goals-against average and a .887 save percentage.
The Canadiens, who are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils Saturday night at the Bell Centre, have an 11-5-4 record, while the Blue Jackets are 7-8-4. The Blue Jackets are coming off a 3-2 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues last Friday night in Columbus and are 2-1-1 in their last four games. Friday’s game was the 13th this season for the Blue Jackets that was decided by one goal and they have a 7-2-4 record in those games.
Joonas Korpisalo, who has a 7-7-1 record with a 3.04 goals-against average and a .897 save percentage, will start in goal for the Blue Jackets.
This will be the second of three games between the Canadiens and Blue Jackets this season. The Canadiens beat the Blue Jackets 3-2 in a shootout last Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. The final game between these teams will be on Feb. 2 at the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens players who took part in Tuesday’s optional morning skate were Keith Kinkaid, Christian Folin, Cale Fleury, Brett Kulak, Victor Mete, Mike Reilly, Shea Weber, Jordan Weal, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Nick Suzuki, Nick Cousins and Hudon.
Folin will be a healthy scratch for the 13th straight game against the Blue Jackets and Reilly for the fifth straight game.
Weber and Tatar on a roll
Canadiens captain Shea Weber will be looking to extend his point streak to seven games against the Blue Jackets. In the last six games, Weber has 4-4-8 totals, giving him 6-11-17 totals in 20 games this season to rank seventh among NHL defencemen heading into Tuesday’s games.
Tatar, who was leading the Canadiens in scoring with 7-13-20 totals heading into Tuesday’s game, was looking to extend his point streak to five games. In the last four games, Tatar has 2-5-7 totals.
Domi struggling to score
Heading into Tuesday night’s game, Max Domi had gone seven games without scoring a goal and had only one goal in his last 15 games.
Joel Armia had gone nine games without a goal and Artturi Lehkonen had one goal in the last 15 games.
Where the Canadiens rank
The Canadiens rank sixth in the NHL in offence, scoring an average of 3.50 goals per game, and rank 19th in defence, allowing an average of 3.05. They rank 15th on the power play (20.3 per cent), 30th in penalty-killing (71.9 per cent) and 21st in faceoffs (49.0 per cent).
Tatar led the Canadiens in scoring with 7-13-20 totals heading into Tuesday night’s game, followed by Weber (6-11-17), Brendan Gallagher (9-7-16), Drouin (7-8-15) and Phillip Danault (6-9-15).
Where the Blue Jackets rank
The Blue Jackets rank 30th in the NHL in offence, scoring an average of 2.37 goals per game, and 21st in defence, allowing an average of 3.26. They rank 24th on the power play (14.5 per cent), 21st in penalty-killing (76.8 per cent) and 19th in faceoffs (49.3 per cent).
Pierre-Luc Dubois led the Blue Jackets in scoring with 7-5-12 totals heading into the game, followed by Gustav Nyquist (3-8-11), Cam Atkinson (3-8-11), Zach Werenski (6-4-10) and Seth Jones (1-9-10).
The Canadiens will fly back home from Columbus after Tuesday night’s game and face the Ottawa Senators Wednesday at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., SN, RDS, TSN 690 Radio). The Canadiens have practices scheduled for 11 a.m. on Thursday and Friday at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard before facing the New York Rangers Saturday at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CITY, SNE, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio).
Next week, the Canadiens have three home games with the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on Tuesday (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio), followed by the New Jersey Devils on Thursday (7:30 p.m., SN, RDS, TSN 690 Radio) and the Philadelphia Flyers for a rare Saturday afternoon game (3 p.m., SN, RDS, TSN 690 Radio).
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