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Benoit Pouliot recalled and Halak starts for Canadiens

12/21/2009 at 2:28pm EST

The Montreal Canadiens announced earlier today that they have called up left winger Benoit Pouliot from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. Pouliot will join the Canadiens today for tonight’s game against the Thrashers in Atlanta.

Pouliot, who was sent down last week for a condition stint, recorded three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in three games with the Bulldogs, which were all recorded in yesterday’s 5-4 win against Rochester.

The 6’3’’, 199 lbs forward has yet to play a game with the Habs due to a wrist injury. Pouliot played 14 games earlier this season with the Minnesota Wild, recording only four points (2 goals, 2 assists), along with 12 penalty minutes, playing only an average of 11:56 minutes per game under head coach Todd Richards.

The Canadiens acquired Benoit Pouliot from the Wild on November 23 in exchange for disgruntled forward Guillaume Latendresse. Latendresse has recorded three goals and one assist in 11 games with the Wild since the trade. However, he missed Saturday’s game in Ottawa with the flu.

On another positive note, rearguard Roman Hamrlik has begun skating again, the first time since he injured his right knee against the Devils last Wednesday. No date has been established for his return, but a return on December 26 against the Toronto Maple Leafs is conceivable.

Here are the probable lines for the Canadiens:
Offense
Michael Cammalleri-Tomas Plekanec-Andrei Kostitsyn
Max Pacioretty-Glen Metropolit-Travis Moen
Matt D’Agostini-Scott Gomez-Sergei Kostitsyn
Marc-André Bergeron-Maxim Lapierre-Georges Laraque

Defense
Andrei Markov-Jaroslav Spacek
Josh Gorges-Hal Gill
Paul Mara-Ryan O’Byrne

Goaltender
Jaroslav Halak

Here are the probable lines for the Thrashers:
Offense:
Ilya Kovalchuk-Nik Antropov-Maxim Afinogenov
Vyacheslav Kozlov-Rich Peverley-Bryan Little
Evander Kane-Todd White-Colby Armstrong
Jim Slater-Marty Reasoner-Chris Thorburn

Defense
Tobias Enstrom – Pavel Kubina
Ron Hainsey – Zach Bogosian
Christoph Schubert – Boris Valabik

Goaltender
Johan Hedberg

It’s still unclear if Benoit Pouliot will make his NHL debut with the Canadiens tonight in Atlanta. If he is good to go, expect George Laraque to be a healthy scratch as tough guy Eric Boulton is not expected to play tonight for Atlanta.

Source: http://hockeyindependent.com/blog/?p=8252

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