The 23-year-old Nesterov has three goals and nine assists in 35 games this season for the Lightning. The Russian has averaged between 17 and 20 minutes of ice time per game and has a minus-three rating.
Nesterov spent the first three years of his NHL career with Tampa Bay and is currently on a one-year deal worth US$725,000. The Lightning drafted the five foot 11, 191 pounder in the fifth round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
The move brings depth and playoff experience to the Canadiens blue line. Nesterov has played 26 post-season games over the last two years with Tampa Bay, which included its runs to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015 and the Eastern Conference Final last season.
Racine, 23, was in his first season with the Canadiens organization after being acquired from the Florida Panthers on Oct. 8, 2016. He didn’t appear in an NHL game with Montreal, but had three assists in 26 games with the American Hockey League’s St. John’s IceCaps.