Canadiens Game Day: Canadiens call up goalie Charlie Lindgren

Canadiens Game Day: Canadiens call up goalie Charlie Lindgren
Lindgren will be Carey Price’s backup for Saturday night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., SNE, SN360, CITY, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio) and will also be on the Canadiens’ Western Canada road trip next week.

Primeau will be in goal for the Rocket for a 3 p.m. game Saturday against the Rochester Americans at Place Bell and will remain in Laval.

“We need for him to play,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said Saturday as the team held an optional morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. “On this road trip, playing every second day, a good chance you’re going to see Carey in most if not all the games. (Primeau’s) a young goaltender that will benefit from playing vs. being a backup.”

Primeau made two starts with the Canadiens after getting called up from the Rocket, posting a 1-1-0 record with a 2.52 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. With the Rocket, the 20-year-old had a 7-4-1 record with a 2.58 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage heading into Saturday afternoon’s game.

Lindgren has a 7-6-2 record with the Rocket, along with a 2.67 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage. The 25-year-old stopped 17 of 20 shots for the Rocket in a 3-2 loss to Rochester Friday night at Place Bell and was told after the game by Laval coach Joël Bouchard that he was getting called up by the Canadiens.

“I’ve been playing really good in Laval,” Lindgren said after taking part in Saturday’s morning skate. “I think I’m playing some really good hockey, so confidence is definitely there. I just got to keep carrying forward.”

Lindgren was disappointed he didn’t get the call from the Canadiens when they decided to bring up Primeau.

“As a competitor, obviously I was pretty upset and I’m here now so that’s what matters,” Lindgren said. “Just got to keep on playing like I know I can and I know everything will work out.”

Keith Kinkaid, who started the season as Price’s backup, has a 1-1-0 record with a 3.77 goals-against average and a .870 save percentage since being sent down to Laval. With the Canadiens, Kinkaid was 1-1-3 with a 4.24 goals-against average and a .875 save percentage.

Charlie Lindgren on ice for #Habs optional morning skate in Brossard #HabsIO

The Canadiens are sitting in a playoff position in third place in the Atlantic Division with a 15-11-6 record, one point ahead of both the Tampa Bay Lightining (16-11-3) and Florida Panthers (15-11-5) and two points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs (15-14-4). The Canadiens are 4-1-0 in their last five games.

The Lightning play host to the Washington Capitals Saturday night, while the Panthers play host to the Boston Bruins and the Leafs visit the Edmonton Oilers.

The Red Wings (8-22-3) have the worst record in the NHL. They also rank last in offence, last in defence and last in penalty-killing. However, the Red Wings beat the Canadiens 4-2 at the Bell Centre on Oct. 10 in their first meeting this season.

The Red Wings are coming off a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday that ended a 12-game winless streak (0-10-2).

“They played extremely well against Winnipeg,” Julien said about the Red Wings. “They’re a good skating team, they move the puck well. They came in here beginning of the season, played a really solid game. I thought they played really, really well. Although we may not have been at our best, they were really good. So there’s all the reasons in the world to take these guys seriously and if you believe in parity — which we do — there’s no reason to take these guys lightly.”

Carey Price taking part in #Habs optional morning skate in Brossard #HabsIO

Ryan Poehling, who was called up from the Rocket on Friday, will be in the Canadiens’ lineup against the Red Wings, playing left wing on the fourth line with centre Nate Thompson and right-winger Riley Barber.

Paul Byron, who practised with the Canadiens on Friday for the first time since knee surgery on Nov. 19, won’t play and also won’t make next week’s road trip to Western Canada. Byron did not take part in Saturday’s morning skate.

“Paulie’s not ready,” Julien said Saturday morning. “Paulie is going to be staying behind on this road trip. After yesterday’s practice I think he needs a little bit more time and so we’re going to give him that. To push him right now would be taking a risk and we don’t want to do that after being out for this long. So we’re going to give him a little bit more time.”
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