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Canadiens' Alex Galchenyuk could return to lineup in Game 2

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

Alex Galchenyuk could return to Montreal's lineup in Game 2.  (USATSI)
Alex Galchenyuk could return to Montreal's lineup in Game 2. (USATSI)

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The Montreal Canadiens could get a boost for Game 2 as head coach Michel Therrien revealed young forward Alex Galchenyuk has been cleared for contact. Additionally, he has not been ruled out to return to the lineup Monday. The 20-year-old has been out since April 9 after he was injured in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Galchenyuk's return would prove helpful in adding some scoring depth. The former No. 3 overall pick had 31 points in 65 games while fighting off injuries in his second NHL season.

The promising forward has been dealing with a knee injury stemming from a hit in that April 9 game. He said after his first practice with light contact he was more concerned about getting up to game speed than anything involving the knee. That was on Saturday, so perhaps those conditioning concerns remain, but if Galchenyuk is adjusted enough to be a contributor, he offers a good skill set in probably limited action.

Galchenyuk has a little bit of postseason experience after posting three points in five games during last year's playoffs, so he'll at least be ready for the intensity of the game, more than likely.

Coming off of that disastrous 7-2 loss in Game 1, the Habs need to be looking for any kind of spark to get back on track. With Galchenyuk not having played in nearly six weeks, he might not be it, but he brings a little something different for the Rangers to contend with in Game 2 and offers Therrien a little more flexibility with his lineup.

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