Lines, defense pairings and updates – March 3

CALGARY — The Canadians skated at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday morning ahead of their matchup with the Flames.

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Here are the lines and defense pairings featured by interim head coach Martin St-Louis:

Thursday, March 3
morning skate
22 – Cole Caufield 14 – Nick Suzuki 17 – Josh Anderson
68 – Mike Hoffman 45 – Laurent Dauphin 11 – Brendan Gallagher

32 – Rem Pitlick

71 – Jake Evans 62 – Artturi Lehkonen
55 – Michael Pezzetta

25 – Ryan Poehling

40 – Joel Armia
13 – Cedric Paquette

85 – Mathieu Perreault

77 – Brett Kulak 26 – Jeff Petry 37 – Andrew Hammond
8 – Ben Chiarot 27 – Alexander Romanov 35 – Sam Montembeault
43 – Kale Clague 20 – Chris Wideman
64 – Corey Schueneman 44 – Joel Edmundson

Following the skate, St-Louis confirmed a couple of lineup changes.

Michael Pezzetta draws back into the lineup after being scratched against Winnipeg earlier this week. He replaces Mathieu Perreault up front.

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Andrew Hammond, meanwhile, will make his third start of the season for Montreal.

He has a 2-0-0 record with the Canadiens, along with a 1.79 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage.

Talk about a tough test…

The Flames are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games – and they’ve won 11 straight games at home.

It’s safe to say that St-Louis’ troops can’t afford to fall behind early like they did against the Jets.

Like the rest of his teammates, Mike Hoffman is primed to battle Darryl Sutter’s contingent and deny them another victory.

“It’s a great opportunity for us,” said Hoffman. “We’ve been playing some good hockey, and to come here on the road playing probably the best home team, or maybe one of the best teams in the League, it’s a great challenge for our club.”

Video: Mike Hoffman on facing a tough Flames squad

St-Louis isn’t shocked that Calgary has enjoyed an impressive campaign with Sutter at the helm.

He respects Sutter’s style and methodology.

“They play hard, they play with pace, they play with structure. Everybody from the outside looking in, they can see that Darryl has the hammer and he’s the boss and people are falling in line,” praised St-Louis. “It’s no surprise that his teams always find success because he gets everybody in line.”

Video: Martin St-Louis’ pregame press conference

Hoffman on Suzuki: ‘He acts a lot older than his age’

Nick Suzuki has definitely earned the respect of his peers.

Both Hoffman and Ben Chiarot spoke glowingly about the 22-year-old’s maturity in just his third NHL season.

“He acts a lot older than his age and plays a lot older than his age,” noted Hoffman. “He’s a great two-way centerman, and any team in the League would love to have him on their squad.”

Suzuki is enjoying another productive year with a team-leading 23 assists and 34 points in 54 games, and he’s close to setting career-highs in all three major offensive categories.

Video: BUF@MTL: Suzuki grabs another goal on penalty shot

Chiarot believes the sky’s the limit for the Canadiens’ All-Star.

“He just continues to get better all the time. Even when he first came in, he was full of confidence and really mature for a young guy,” mentioned Chiarot. “As he gets older and stronger, that’s the only thing that he needs, a little bit of age and maturity to grow into his body and a little bit of training under him, and the League will be his to be had. He’s got all the tools to be a top young player.”


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