BROSSARD, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin might return for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the New York Rangers at Bell Centre on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, TVA Sports, MSG).
Emelin skated with Montreal's extra players at their suburban practice facility Wednesday. It was the first time he has been on the ice with teammates since he sustained a lower-body injury April 5.
He missed Montreal's last two regular-season games and the first four games of the best-of-7 series, which is tied 2-2.
"It's a positive sign because he's practicing with his teammates," coach Claude Julien said. "He still has to be evaluated by our medical staff, which will happen after, and possibly [Thursday] as well, before making a final decision."
Emelin led Montreal during the regular season with 241 hits, which ranked ninth in the NHL. He had 10 points (two goals, eight assists) and 71 penalty minutes in 76 games.
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