BROSSARD - When Al Montoya joined Carey Price on the sidelines on Friday, Charlie Lindgren instantly became the man in charge between the pipes going forward.
At 11:24 a.m. EST, the Canadiens announced that Montoya had suffered an upper-body injury and that Zach Fucale had been recalled from the AHL's Laval Rocket on an emergency basis.
During his post-practice press conference, head coach Claude Julien indicated that Montoya was slated to meet with team doctors. Aside from that, though, Julien didn't have any further information on Montoya's condition.
"It's an unfortunate deal for Pricer and Montoya, but I have a great relationship with Zach, so it'll be fun to see him," said Lindgren, after learning that Fucale would be joining him with the big club. "It's just a next-man-up mentality. I just want to go in, do my job and give the team a chance to win."
Video: Charlie Lindgren on starting a brand new streak
The 23-year-old netminder has been doing just that of late with Price unable to play, winning back-to-back starts against the Chicago Blackhawks and Vegas Golden Knights, respectively, before dropping a 3-0 decision at the hands of his hometown Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.
That marked the first loss of Lindgren's NHL career dating back to his Habs debut during the 2015-16 campaign.
"It was a fun streak. Hockey's always the best when you're winning. It was a tough loss, but the guys played really well. It's time to start a new streak," said Lindgren, whose career record as a starter stands at 5-1-0, along with a sparkling 1.50 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage. "As an athlete, you always want that opportunity to bounce back and I'm definitely excited to get that opportunity [against Buffalo on Saturday night]."
Given the way that Lindgren has gone about his business so far under Julien's watch, the veteran bench boss is perfectly at ease with the young netminder taking the reins between the pipes.
"I have zero issues of putting him in the net no matter what the situation is. When he's been in the lineup, he's always played well. He played well again last night, so even out of necessity or choice, it doesn't matter," praised Julien. "As an organization, his teammates, everybody has good confidence in him like they do in our goaltending, period."
Video: Claude Julien's press conference
Likewise, Julien is adamant that Lindgren's stellar work has an incredibly positive effect on those playing in front of him as well.
"He makes the saves he has to make, which gives confidence to the players in front of him," insisted Julien. "That's an important quality for a person who plays on a team. When we look at the situation we're in, it's nice to have a goaltender who is capable of delivering the types of games that he has for us."