Carey Worth and Brendan Gallagher, every out since April, will play a sport within the American Hockey League earlier than the Montreal Canadiens face the Toronto Maple Leafs in Recreation 1 of the Stanley Cup First Spherical on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
Worth and Gallagher will play Monday for Laval, the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate, on a conditioning mortgage towards the Toronto Marlies, the Maple Leafs’ affiliate. Worth will play half the sport, the Canadiens stated.
Worth missed 19 of Montreal’s closing 21 regular-season video games due to accidents, together with the final 13 with a concussion, and Gallagher missed the ultimate 21 with a damaged thumb.
Worth is predicted to begin Recreation 1 at Toronto. The goalie stated Sunday that he’s feeling wholesome and is optimistic about Montreal starting the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a clear slate.
“It is a golden alternative, we’re all excited to play,” Worth stated. “I do know for myself it is an thrilling alternative to play within the playoffs once more for a second straight yr, so we’re trying ahead to entering into that first sport and attempting to construct some momentum.”
Worth sustained a concussion in a collision with Edmonton Oilers ahead Alex Chiasson on April 19, his second begin after lacking six video games with a lower-body harm. He stated he had dangerous signs the subsequent two days, together with a headache.
“It wasn’t a pleasing time, so I am grateful to be feeling higher now,” Worth stated.
Worth was 12-7-5 with a 2.64 goals-against common, a .901 save proportion and one shutout in 25 video games this season. His save proportion was the second-lowest of his 14-season NHL profession; he had a .900 save proportion in 49 video games (48 begins) in 2017-18.
In the course of the playoffs final season, Worth had a 1.78 GAA, a .936 save proportion and two shutouts in 10 video games. He helped the Canadiens defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins in 4 video games within the best-of-5 Stanley Cup Qualifiers earlier than they misplaced to the Philadelphia Flyers in six video games within the best-of-7 Jap Convention First Spherical.
“He is calm, he is in management and he is a competitor,” Montreal coach Dominique Ducharme stated. “The fellows know he will rise on the proper time and he will be at his finest, in order that’s why he has that affect on the group.”
Gallagher is predicted to be within the lineup for Recreation 1 towards the Maple Leafs, as is defenseman Shea Weber, who missed the ultimate eight video games with an upper-body harm.
Gallagher was injured April 5 towards the Oilers when he was struck by teammate Alexander Romanov‘s shot. He stated Saturday that he does not count on it is going to be troublesome to get reacclimated with common linemates Phillip Danault and Tomas Tatar.
“It does not take lengthy for us,” Gallagher stated. “We spend sufficient time collectively so there needs to be no rustiness. I feel everybody’s feeling fairly good and hopefully we get again to doing what we do.”
Danault stated Sunday that he is recovered from a concussion that saved him out of the lineup for the ultimate three regular-season video games. He additionally stated he expects Worth to be his regular self.
“Carey’s the identical, he is all the time going to be the identical,” Danault stated. “He is battling arduous in follow. Everyone knows he fought by a giant harm this yr. Clearly, he is performed a variety of video games up to now. He is our prime goalie. It is regular, typically you get damage through the yr. Jake [Allen] was big for us this yr, however [Price is] 100% from what I see. And he labored actually arduous to get again to 100%, so it is good to see that.”
Danault, Gallagher and Tatar will probably be tasked with defending Maple Leafs forwards Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner. Matthews led the NHL with 41 targets in 52 video games. Marner was fourth within the NHL with 67 factors (20 targets, 47 assists) in 55 video games.
“Marner and Matthews are two elite gamers, two superstars,” Danault stated. “It is regular that they get factors in virtually each sport, a bit like [Connor] McDavid and [Leon] Draisaitl (of the Oilers). They’re like a two-headed monster too. They’re gamers who go all over the place. They go to the suitable locations to attain. They’re robust to comprise and it’s totally rewarding once you do. They’re glorious gamers and it is robust each time you face them.”
Worth laughed when requested if he had realized something about methods to learn Matthews’ shot.
“I would not inform you if I did, however he is undoubtedly obtained a misleading launch and also you simply should react to it, attempt to learn it as finest as doable,” Worth stated. “There is no secrets and techniques to it. We all know he is obtained a world-class shot and we have to attempt to take that chance away from him as a lot as doable.”