After taking part in the Montreal Canadiens’ practice on Thursday, Carey Price left before the end. Afterward, Claude Julien mentioned that he may not be available for the road trip. It has now been announced that Price is out with a lower-body injury.
Lower-body injury for Price, Canadiens announce. Not traveling to FLA.— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) December 27, 2018
He had been able to play every game since an incident with the Senators’ Brady Tkachuk, finishing off the pre-Christmas slate with back-to-back wins, including the 300th of his NHL career.
It puts more pressure on a team that tends to have difficulty with the end-of-year road trip even with their MVP in the lineup. The Canadiens will play the Florida Panthers on Friday before a date with perhaps the league’s top club, the Tampa Bay Lightning, on Saturday. The road trip will wrap up with a stop in Dallas on New Year’s Eve.
With Price injured, and Charlie Lindgren unavailable at the minor-league level, the Canadiens will likely be calling upon Michael McNiven for his first taste of life at the NHL level. He has been doing well taking over starting duties for the Laval Rocket. Antti Niemi will be expected to start Friday’s game, and likely Saturday’s as well.