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“We’ll see,” coach Martin St. Louis said when asked whether the 21-year-old will be in Montreal’s lineup Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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TAMPA — Could Justin Barron be the key to unlocking the Canadiens’ power play?

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The answer could come as soon as Wednesday, when the Canadiens begin a four-game post-Christmas road trip against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena (7 p.m., SN, RDS, TSN-690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

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Barron, 21, was recalled from the Laval Rocket Tuesday, and it’s not difficult to understand why he received the call. The Halifax native has always had an offensive flair, and five of his seven goals this season have been scored on the power play. That’s the most by an AHL defenceman.

The Canadiens have struggled on the power play this season. They currently rank last in the NHL with a success rate of 14.6 per cent. Montreal has scored only 15 power-play goals and Arber Xhekaj is the only defenceman to score a power-play goal this season.

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“We’ll see,” coach Martin St. Louis said when asked whether Barron will be in the lineup Wednesday.

With Mike Matheson and David Savard back in Montreal nursing injuries, the choice will come down to Barron or veteran Chris Wideman. Both are right-handed shots with offensive upsides but, given St. Louis’s recent penchant for experimenting, the nod may go to Barron.

If he does dress, the young Montreal defence corps will get even younger. He would join fellow rookies Johnathan Kovacevic, Jordan Harris, Kaiden Guhle and Xhekaj, with Joel Edmundson as the lone veteran.

Barron was a first-round draft choice of the Colorado Avalanche in 2020 and played two games with the Avs before he was traded to Montreal as part of the trade deadline deal that sent Artturi Lehkonen to Colorado.

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Barron played five games with the Canadiens before his season ended with a sprained ankle. He was considered a strong candidate to start the season in Montreal, particularly since he is a right-handed shot, but Harris and Xhekaj had better camps.

“Right off the bat, it was disappointing, but there was no sense dwelling on it. It wasn’t going to help my game or the team in Laval,” Barron said of demotion.

“The transition down there was pretty easy. The coaches were great, my teammates were great. That made it easier to move on. There are some areas of my game I had to work on and I shifted my focus to that. I had things to work on defensively, some of my decision-making. I focused on playing with a little more grit in my game, being a little bit harder to play against.”

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Barron played in every situation in Laval.

“That’s one of the advantages of going down to start the season,” he said. “I got lots of ice time (and) it was a chance to build my confidence back up.”

Barron said he has more opportunities to shoot on the power play because he has Jesse Ylonen and Anthony Richard on the wings and they opened things up for him.

Sean Monahan also remained in Montreal, but Brendan Gallagher was at practice Tuesday. Gallagher hasn’t played since Nov. 29 and there’s no guarantee he’ll face the Lightning, but he’s expected to play at some point on this trip.

The Canadiens play the Florida Panthers Thursday, are in Washington on New Year’s Eve and wrap up the trip in Nashville on Jan. 3.

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Recalled from Laval, Justin Barron is poised to help Canadiens’ power play

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