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Montreal Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme expects Game 3 return

Apr 23, 2021; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme on his bench against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 23, 2021; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme on his bench against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Interim Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme should be out of COVID-19 protocols and able to return to the bench for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between Montreal and the Tampa Bay Lightning, he said Saturday.

The best-of-seven finals begin Monday in Tampa, with Game 2 to be played there Wednesday. Game 3 is scheduled for Friday at Montreal’s Bell Centre.

Ducharme, whose positive test was confirmed COVID-19 June 18, will have spent 14 days in quarantine by Friday. He has been working with acting coach Luke Richardson and the team via videoconference during his absence and will continue to do so until his return.

The Canadiens defeated the favored Vegas Golden Knights in six games to advance to their first Cup final since 1993. The Lightning are the defending champions.

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 in seven games and swept the Winnipeg Jets in the opening rounds to reach the semifinals against the Golden Knights

–Field Level media