BROSSARD - All eyes were on Carey Price on Monday morning as the five-time All-Star hit the ice for the first time in a week at the Bell Sports Complex.
Before practice got underway, Price skated with goaltending coach Stephane Waite and then participated in the on-ice session with the rest of his teammates.
Video: Carey Price returns to practice
The 30-year-old goaltender continues to recover from a minor lower-body injury sustained on November 2 in the tilt against the Minnesota Wild.
It goes without saying that head coach Claude Julien was pleased to see Price back at work, but his return to active duty is still up in the air.
"One step at a time. It's encouraging that he's practicing with us," said Julien, before confirming that Price would be accompanying the Canadiens on their two-game road trip to Dallas and Nashville. "He's still day-to-day, so we don't know exactly when he's coming back. We'll see how he continues to progress."
Video: Claude Julien's press conference
Minutes later, Julien indicated that Charlie Lindgren would get the start in goal against the Stars on Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.
Lindgren is certainly up to the challenge of trying to keep some of the Stars' top snipers off the scoresheet.
"It's another exciting opportunity and challenge," said Lindgren, who will be making his eighth straight start as the Canadiens look to snap a three-game losing streak. "Obviously, we know who's on the other side of the ice. You start with Seguin and Benn and Radulov. It's going to be a tough test, but I'm definitely looking forward to it."
Like Julien, Lindgren was thrilled to see Price going about his business as usual on the South Shore.
"Carey looked like Carey to me. He looked smooth. He looked good. It was great to see," mentioned the 23-year-old Lakeville, MN native. "You see how much he means to this organization, how hard he's worked off the ice to get back to this point. I think the room's excited to see him."
For his part, defenseman David Schlemko also returned to practice on Monday. Schlemko has been dealing with a hand injury that forced him to undergo surgery on October 18.
"I felt pretty good. A little rusty, obviously, but not too bad. It was nice to get back in there with the fellas," said Schlemko, who also made the trip to the Lone Star State on Monday afternoon. "I'm not sure [when I'll play]. I'll talk to the trainers and coaches. My timing's a little bit off, but maybe another practice or two and we'll see."
Video: David Schlemko on returning to practice
When the 30-year-old rearguard is good to go, though, Julien will gladly welcome him back into the fold.
"The earlier, the better," said Julien. "At this stage, we're giving him the time to heal properly and when he's ready to go, he'll play. But, there's no reason to get him back in there right away if he isn't 100 percent. It would waste all of the time we've put in to let him recover."