NHL notes: Habs shuffle lineup with trade

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was in net during the teamís loss to the Toronto Maple...

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was in net during the teamís loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in Montreal on October 22, 2011. (MARTIN CHEVALIER/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:15 PM ET

The struggling Montreal Canadiens shuffled the lineup Sunday, adding three players to the roster while sending two others to the minors.

The Canadiens acquired forward Petteri Nokelainen and defenceman Garrett Stafford from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for forward Brock Trotter and a seventh-round draft pick in 2012. Nokelainen will join the Habs in Montreal while Stafford is headed to Hamilton of the AHL.

The Habs also recalled forward Michael Blunden from Hamilton and sent forwards Andreas Engqvist and Aaron Palushaj down. Blunden has three assists in five games with Hamilton.

Nokelainen, 25, had one assist in five games with the Coyotes this season. He's played 194 career NHL games with four teams, tallying 17 goals and 18 assists.

Stafford, a career minor-leaguer, has played just seven NHL games. The 31-year-old has spent time in the Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix organizations.

BACKES 'BETTER'

St. Louis Blues captain David Backes was "feeling better" the morning after being forced to leave Saturday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers with a shoulder injury.

The outlook for Backes, who was hurt when he was hit by Flyers captain Chris Pronger midway through the second period, had improved by Sunday morning, with coach Davis Payne telling the Belleville News Democrat that the forward "is feeling better this morning and that's positive for us. Beyond that, we're going to have to wait until the whole thing shakes out."

Losing Backes for any length of time would be a blow for the Blues, who still haven't gotten forward David Perron back from a concussion. Backes has just two goals and one assist in eight games this season but had 31 goals and 31 assists in 82 games last year.


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