Open Game Hamrlik set to return for Habs home opener

Defenseman Roman Hamrlik will make his return to the Montreal Caandiens lineup, in time for their home-opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The veteran defenseman was paired up with Ryan O'Byrne during Tuesday's practice, so expect Alexandre Picard to be in the press box.

The Lightning roll into the Bell Centre after winning their home opener, a 5-3 decision over the Atlanta Thrashers, on Saturday.

It will also be the first game as an NHL coach for the Lightning's Guy Boucher, the former Hamilton Bulldogs coach that many felt would have been an assistant in Montreal this season.

It won't be Boucher's first time coaching at the Bell Centre, as the Bulldogs played  two regular-season games there last season. This time around though, he will be behind the visitors bench.
"There were 17,000 people there, so I kind of have a sense of how it's going to feel," Boucher said, talking to the's Dan Rosen. "I know the environment."

Wednesday's game also marks the return of Dominic Moore to Montreal. Moore came to the Canadiens in a deal before the trade deadline, with the Florida Panthers, and was signed by the Lightning as a free agent this past summer.

Along with some familiar faces for the Canadiens' past, there's also a familiar contingent of foes in the Lightining roster. Hometown boys Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis always enjoy playing in Montreal, and have Richard Trophy co-winner Steven Stamkos as reinforcement.

Stamkos' 51 goals last season tied him with the Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby, for the league lead, with two of those goals against the Canadiens

"We're all going to have to be sharp," said Canadiens goaltender Carey Price . "They have a lot of offensive weapons. We know we have to be on our toes."

Head-to-head last season, the Canadiens were 2-2 against the Lightning, with Price going 1-2.

On the injury front, the Canadiens continue to play without Andrei Markov, who's sooner-than-later recovery seems to be well on schedule. Markov skated with the team, in Tuesday's practice, and some speculate he could be back as soon as Saturday.

The Lightning's Mattias Ohlund is still out with a knee injury, and is expected to be out two more weeks.

What's going on in the lightning field at SBN's Raw Charge

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