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Habs play mock game while waiting for next round

AP - Sports

BROSSARD, Quebec (AP) -- The days without a game were dragging on, so the Montreal Canadiens decided they needed an intrasquad game to keep the rust off.

The Canadiens simulated a game day on Monday, complete with a morning skate at their practice facility. They were scheduled to play a simulated game in the evening against mostly call-ups from the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs at the Bell Centre.

Montreal has been off since completing a sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the NHL playoffs on April 22. They are not expected to begin the second round against the rival Boston Bruins until Thursday or Friday, which would make for a break of nine or 10 days between playoff games.

''It's a question of being smart,'' winger Brandon Prust said. ''It's a game-like situation, but no one's going to be running around trying to kill people. At the same time, you're blocking shots and guys are shooting the puck hard and you're battling for pucks. It's going to be good for us.''

The game was to be closed to the public and media. Coach Michel Therrien also gave his players a day off on Tuesday.

The Canadiens were off the first two days after the sweep but resumed practice on Friday.

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