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Carey Price sustains minor lower-body injury

Al Montoya to start on Saturday against Winnipeg

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL /

WINNIPEG - The Canadiens will be deprived of Carey Price's services on Saturday night.

Following Friday afternoon's practice at Bell MTS Place, head coach Claude Julien revealed that the 30-year-old netminder had sustained a minor lower-body injury and would be unable to play against the Jets.

Price didn't take part in the on-ice session with the rest of the group. He was given a therapy day.

Charlie Lindgren was recalled from the AHL's Laval Rocket as a preventative measure given that Price's status going forward is still unknown.

With Price on the sidelines, Al Montoya will make his third start of the season.

"I prepare every day like I'm playing," said Montoya, who backstopped the Canadiens to an 8-3 win on Monday night with a 25-save performance in Ottawa. "The last couple of games have felt good for me and I'm looking forward to getting back in there and getting the ball rolling." 

Video: Al Montoya on starting against the Jets on Saturday

Winners of three straight games - and boasting a 7-1-2 record in their last 10 outings - the Jets present a formidable challenge for Julien's contingent coming off a rather disappointing performance against the Minnesota Wild, one in which Price surrendered five goals on 26 shots in a 6-3 defeat at the Xcel Energy Center.

"They're a fast team. They've got a lot of skill. They like to go to the net. I'm ready for a 60-minute battle," said Montoya, who played 35 games for Winnipeg between the 2012 and 2014 campaigns. "There's got to be more urgency for us. For us, it's when that puck drops that we're ready to go and after doing all the things that we need to do to prepare."

When Price does return to active duty, though, Julien is confident that his starter will shine again, as per usual.

"I'm not worried about Carey getting back on track. He'll be a big part of our success as a group. We know he's having a tough time right now, but we know what kind of goaltender he is," insisted Julien, before putting the onus on his charges to step up during this particularly rough stretch, too. "We win as a team and we lose as a team. There's definitely room for improvement up and down the lineup. We're not pointing the finger at our goaltender - we're pointing the finger at the team."

Video: Claude Julien on Carey Price's injury

With that in mind, the Canadiens' bench boss did make some notable line changes on Friday, as Alex Galchenyuk moved to the top line alongside Jonathan Drouin and Artturi Lehkonen.

"All we need from Alex is to continue to work hard, compete and do those kinds of things. When he does that, he's a much better player," explained Julien. "When he doesn't do that, it doesn't matter how much talent you have, it's never going to come to the surface."

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