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Habs practice news & lines: Gallagher resumes full duties, Pacioretty has the flu, Montoya starts

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Observations from the Canadiens’ morning skate in Brossard ahead of their matchup with the St. Louis Blues.

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The first bit of news to come out of the team’s morning skate in Brossard was Brendan Gallagher taking to the ice in a regular practice jersey, able to join full-contact drills with his teammates.

It doesn’t mean that he’ll be back in the lineup tonight or even tomorrow versus the Bruins (having him return when there’s a five-day break beginning next week seems like a poor decision), but he should be back in the lineup fairly soon.

The second bit of news is that Max Pacioretty missed the morning skate with the flu. It will be a big blow for the team if he’s unable to go tonight, as he was instrumental in breaking the four-game losing streak with a 10-shot, four-point performance in Arizona on Thursday.

Al Montoya gets a rare home start tonight, and a Saturday night matchup to boot. It seems that the coaching staff has decided to save Carey Price for Sunday’s game versus the division-rival Boston Bruins.

Lines

Coming off a win, and not wanting to mess with the lineup, Michel Therrien coped with the Pacioretty news by filling his spot on the top line with Brian Flynn. That suggests that he was just holding the spot in practice, and the Habs hope that Pacioretty will be able to reprise his role come game time. (Update: that appears to be the case)

Interestingly, it wasn’t David Desharnais — a left-handed forward — who took that spot.