Ryder, who practiced Friday, stayed in Montreal to receive treatment.
"There were too many question marks," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "We feel it's better for him to treat it and resolve the problem. When we put him back in the lineup he's going to be 100 percent. At this time of the year we don't want to take any risks.
"It's not like a major injury, but it's something we have to pay attention to."
Ryder will be replaced in the lineup by Mike Blunden, who was recalled Friday from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. Travis Moen will move up from the fourth line to play on the top line with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta.
Blunden had quite a trip just getting to Newark.
He was originally on a direct flight from St. John's, Newfoundland, where the Bulldogs are playing, at 9 a.m. Saturday, but the flight was canceled Friday night. He instead had to take a 5:25 a.m. flight out to Montreal and connect there to a 9 a.m. flight to Newark.
Blunden landed in Newark at 10:15 a.m. and hopped in a car so he could make it to the morning skate on time.
"I'll have a good nap this afternoon, that's for sure," said Blunden, who has played in 90 NHL games since the 2006-07 season. "Definitely circumstances are tough but it's no excuse. I'm just going to get ready to play and go have some fun."
"We understand he was there early, but he's excited," Therrien said. "I think he's going to feel more fatigue [Sunday] than today, probably."
Here is the Canadiens' projected lineup:
Scratched: Tomas Kaberle