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[Injury Report] Jesperi Kotkaniemi sidelined with a groin injury

Nick Suzuki will slide into his place at centre, whiel Jordan Weal gets back in the lineup.

Montreal Canadiens v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Just a few hours ahead of the Montreal Canadiens’ game with the Vegas Golden Knights, it was announced that Jesperi Kotkaniemi is dealing with a groin injury, and will be unable to play.

The injury may explain why Kotkaniemi has had a tough start to the season, currently sitting on three points after 12 games played. If that was the case, hopefully he’ll come back at 100%.

In his absence, Nick Suzuki gets a promotion from fourth-line winger to third-line centre. Suzuki added another point to his season total last night with an assist, and now gets the benefit of playing with more skilled players versus the team that drafted him in 2017.

With one player going down, Jordan Weal will slot back in, likely taking the right-wing spot on the fourth line that Suzuki was playing.

The moves shouldn’t be detrimental to the Canadiens’ chances, and in fact if Kotkaniemi was dealing with an ailment, the team may even be slightly better off as they attempt a sweep in a back-to-back set. Weal will be fresh after sitting out for several days, which could just help the fourth line be a difference-maker in tonight’s contest.