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Montreal Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme returns for Game 3

Jun 7, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme gestures to the fans after the series win over the Winnipeg Jets during the overtime period in game four of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme gestures to the fans after the series win over the Winnipeg Jets during the overtime period in game four of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

–Field Level media