Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Beaulieu's Injury Is Pateryn's Gain on Canadiens' Ever-Changing Defence Group

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Beaulieu's Injury Is Pateryn's Gain on Canadiens' Ever-Changing Defence Group

Article excerpt

Pateryn struggles for spot on Habs defence

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MONTREAL - The Montreal Canadiens' carousel has taken another spin and it's Greg Pateryn's turn to get back on.

Such is the life of a third-pairing NHL defenceman.

Pateryn played the first two games of the season, was scratched for two, played nine more, sat out three, played another two and then sat out the team's last two games.

Thanks mainly to an injury to rearguard Nathan Beaulieu, he is set to return to the lineup on Thursday night when the Canadiens play host to the red-hot Carolina Hurricanes, who have won five games in a row.

"You don't let it get you down," said Pateryn, who has been up and down from the AHL through most of his five seasons in the Canadiens organization. "You try to be the best teammate you can."

Moving in and out of the lineup and never cementing a steady spot has been frustrating for the 26-year-old, who is well aware that when he gets to play, one mistake can land him back in the pressbox.

"You feel you're in the same spot, treading water, but there's nothing you can do but take it one game at a time," said Pateryn, a 2008 Toronto draft pick who was acquired that same year in a deal that sent Mikhail Grabovski to the Maple Leafs.

The Sterling Heights, Mich., native has played 71 games over five seasons for Montreal, posting two goals and eight assists.

Beaulieu was taken to hospital after he was struck in the neck by a puck during a 4-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night. He was released Wednesday morning. More tests will be taken this week to determine how long the 23-year-old will be out of action but he is to miss at least two games.

His injury, plus a rash of penalties on both sides that kept special teams busy, saw 37-year-old Andrei Markov post a whopping 30:43 of ice time and Shea Weber 29:16, while third-pair defenceman Joel Hanley played less than eight minutes against the Senators. …

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