David Savard had quite the penalty kill shift in the third period on Monday night against Buffalo with multiple blocked shots despite losing his skate blade partway through. However, he also suffered a fractured hand in the sequence and is now out for six to eight weeks.
Savard has played a big role this season for Montreal, logging over 20 minutes a game on average despite leaving partway through the third last night. He has primarily played on the top pairing with Mike Matheson while seeing plenty of time on the penalty kill, a situation the Canadiens are much too familiar with this season.
Taking Savard’s place on the roster will be Gustav Lindstrom who was recalled on an emergency basis from Laval. He was acquired from Detroit in the Jeff Petry trade in the offseason and cleared waivers late in training camp. With 128 career NHL appearances under his belt, the Habs know that he can handle some minutes on the third pairing.
The hard part for head coach Martin St. Louis will be what to do beyond putting Lindstrom in on the third pairing. His other right-shot options are Johnathan Kovacevic (who was primarily a third-pairing player last season) and Justin Barron (who was a healthy scratch until less than a week ago). With Kaiden Guhle (who could shift to his off-side) still injured, one of those two likely needs to move up with Matheson tonight against New Jersey. Whoever gets picked, it’s not a role they’ll be too comfortable with so it’ll be interesting to see how the Habs play this out.