Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme returns for Game 3; Lightning’s Alex Killorn still out

Interim head coach Dominique Ducharme will be behind the bench for the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday night against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.

Ducharme was out on the ice for Montreal’s morning skate on Friday after being cleared from COVID-19 protocols. He has been sidelined since testing positive for the coronavirus on June 18.

The Canadiens, who are trying to win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1993, trail the defending champion Lightning 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

Ducharme worked with assistant coach Luke Richardson and the team via videoconference during his absence.

“I thought we played a lot harder physically and the battle level was higher,” Richardson said. “Now we’ve just got to compete at the same level and push to finish a little bit better and maybe score that first goal, play with the lead in this series and see where it takes us.”

Ducharme, 48, took over the Canadiens on Feb. 24 after the firing of Claude Julien. The Canadiens were 9-5-4 at the time and finished the regular season at 24-21-11. They defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and Vegas Golden Knights to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

Alex Killorn ruled out for Game 3

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn has been ruled out of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, head coach Jon Cooper announced Friday morning.

Cooper said he will implement the same lineup from Wednesday’s 3-1 win in Game 2 over the Montreal Canadiens. That meant Tyler Johnson ascended from the fourth to the second line and Mathieu Joseph was inserted into the lineup for the Lightning, who hold a 2-0 edge in the best-of-seven series.

Game 3 is in Montreal on Friday.

Killorn injured his left leg while blocking a shot from Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry in the second period of Tampa Bay’s 5-1 win in the series opener on Monday.

Killorn, 31, recorded 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 56 games during the regular season. He is fourth on the team with 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 19 games so far in the postseason.

–Field Level media