Samuel Montembeault will make his first start in goal for the Canadiens when they play the Sabres Thursday night in Buffalo (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).
That will be the only change to the Canadiens’ lineup following Wednesday night’s 2-1 loss to the Maple Leafs in Toronto in their NHL season opener.
Canadiens goalie Jake Allen stopped 28 of 30 shots in Toronto.
The Canadiens claimed the 24-year-old Montembeault off waivers from the Florida Panthers this month. Montembeault hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2019-20 season.
Montembeault has appeared in 25 NHL games during his career, posting a 9-8 record with a 3.20 goals-against average and a .892 save percentage.
Thursday’s game will be the second of three in four nights for the Canadiens, who will play their home opener Saturday at the Bell Centre against the New York Rangers.
When asked about the goaltending situation after practice Tuesday in Brossard, Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme said: “We’ll need both goalies to play. We cannot ask Jake to be playing all games in October and until Carey (Price) comes back. It wouldn’t be fair, it wouldn’t be realistic, so we need both goalies. We trust that those guys will be solid. We don’t ask them to be stealing games, we don’t ask them to be somebody else than themselves But themselves at their best.”
Price entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program last week for a minimum of 30 days and it’s uncertain when he might return to the Canadiens.