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Price to start Olympic opener for Canada

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

SOCHI -- Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens will start in goal for Canada when it opens the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Thursday against Norway, and Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo will start the second game against Austria on Friday.

Canada coach Mike Babcock had stated Price and Luongo each would start one of the first two games; he informed the goalies Wednesday morning in what order that would happen.

"I'm just excited," Price said. "It's been a lingering thought, but this whole season I've been preparing one game at a time. That doesn't change once I get here. I've been preparing these last two days for this game [Thursday] and I'll just continue to do the same."

Luongo was not Babcock's starter at the beginning of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics either, but he eventually took the job from New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur and helped Canada win the gold medal.

Four years later, Luongo again will be watching Canada's opening game from the bench.

"I just want to be ready for whenever I'm called upon," Luongo said. "As we saw last time, things change quickly. Whoever is playing doesn't matter as long as all three guys are ready to play."

Price entered the Olympics 4-1-1 with a 1.15 goals-against average and .967 save percentage in his final six starts prior to the Games.

Luongo, playing behind a defense decimated by injuries, lost his final five starts and allowed at least three goals in each of his past six, going 1-5-0 with a 3.55 GAA and .880 save percentage.

The defense playing in front of any Canada goalie will be considerably better than what he is accustomed to, but the same could be said for the attacking forwards coming at him.

Luongo did not appear disappointed by the decision and said all that matters is that Canada wins.

"We're all here to play for Team Canada," he said. "It's not about one player. We're all pulling on the same rope. It's a team game right now. It's not about Roberto Luongo or Carey Price or Mike Smith. It's about being a part of Team Canada. It doesn't matter what role you are given, you have to embrace it and accept it."


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