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Canadiens Game Day: Joel Armia gets promoted to No. 1 line

Canadiens Game Day: Joel Armia gets promoted to No. 1 line
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Canadiens right-winger Joel Armia waits for the puck to drop during NHL pre-season game against the Florida Panthers at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Sept. 19, 2018. Allen McInnis / Montreal Gazette

Canadiens coach Claude Julien will juggle his lines for Monday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild at the Bell Centre.

Joel Armia, who has played two games since missing 25 with a knee injury, was promoted to right wing on the No. 1 line during Monday’s morning skate, with Max Domi at centre and Jonathan Drouin on the left. Paul Byron had been playing on the No. 1 line the last two games since Andrew Shaw was sidelined with an upper-body injury.

Domi and Drouin have both been struggling offensively. Domi has gone 12 games without scoring a goal and Drouin has two goals in his last nine games. Domi continues to lead the Canadiens in scoring with 14-24-38 totals, followed by Drouin with 13-20-33. Domi scored only nine goals in each of the last two seasons with the Arizona Coyotes before being acquired last summer in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk.

“Sometimes they go in for you, sometimes they don’t,” Domi said about his slump. “It’s just a matter of not getting frustrated and sticking to the game plan and just trust in that eventually it will start going in. Part of the game and not concerned one bit.”

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Armia will add some size to the top line. In 17 games this season, Armia has 3-5-8 totals and is plus-1.

“He’s a big, right shot, makes plays, can score. Smart hockey player,” Domi said about playing with Armia. “So it should be fun.”

Carey Price will start in goal for the Canadiens. He has a 16-11-4 record with a 2.76 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage.

The Canadiens (22-15-5) head into the game in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings, one point behind both the New York Islanders (23-13-4), who hold the first wild-card playoff spot, and the Buffalo Sabres (22-14-6), who hold the second wild-card spot. The Islanders hold two games in hand.

The Islanders and the Sabres both have the night off on Monday.

#Habs morning skate getting started in Brossard. Minnesota Wild at Bell Centre tonight (7:30 pm, TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio) #HabsIO pic.twitter.com/e4HdesxUTA

Here’s how the Canadiens’ lines and defence pairings looked at Monday’s morning skate:
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