The Montreal Canadiens announced this morning that Tom Gilbert would not be travelling with the team to Nashville and Winnipeg to face the Predators or Jets, though he is expected to be available to play on Saturday night against the Florida Panthers. Gilbert took a wrist shot to the face late in the second period against the sharks, the second time in two games he had been hit in the face with the puck.
Nathan Beaulieu will draw into Gilbert's place, as the young defenseman gets, at the least, a brief reprieve from a spell in the pressbox that has been wholly unmerited. Beaulieu has the fourth best shot attempt differential on the roster among defensemen, and has consistently displayed smart decision making to go along with his excellent puck skills and speed. He will be slotting in beside Greg Pateryn, who has also been impressing of late. Alexei Emelin will stay with Jeff Petry on the second pairing.
The lines will stay essentially the same as what we saw against the Sharks, with the only possible change being that Torrey Mitchell is ready to play after a minor injury, and could draw in over Manny Malhotra. Though Malhotra has been significantly better than Mitchell since the trade, so that may not make much sense.
Brian Flynn is also available to the team, but like Sergei Gonchar and Mike Weaver, he appears to be on the outside looking in.