Tomas Plekanec, Jeff Halpern day to day

Updated: March 16, 2011, 3:37 PM ET
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com

The Montreal Canadiens appear to have avoided the worst this time around on the injury front.

A team spokesman told ESPN.com Wednesday that leading scorer Tomas Plekanec was day to day with a lower-body injury, as was fellow center Jeff Halpern. Both players left Tuesday night's 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals in the second period and didn't return.

Both players will be re-evaluated Thursday, the spokesman said.

Losing Plekanec long-term would be a devastating blow for the Canadiens. He leads the team with 53 points (21 goals, 32 assists) in 69 games and also sports a club-best plus-14 rating.

The Canadiens recalled forwards Nigel Dawes and Aaron Palushaj from AHL Hamilton on Wednesday in the event Plekanec and/or Halpern can't play Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Canadiens are already without key defensemen Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges, both out for the season with knee injuries, plus winger Max Pacioretty, who suffered a fractured neck vertebra and concussion after taking a hit from Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara last week.

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.

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