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Canadiens goalie Price injured in win against Rangers

by Dan Rosen /

NEW YORK -- Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price left the game Wednesday against the New York Rangers after two periods with the same lower-body injury that kept him out of the lineup for nine games from Oct. 30 through Nov. 19.

Price's right leg appeared to bend awkwardly when he was trying to move across the crease during a sequence in the second period.

Montreal coach Michel Therrien said he did not know how long Price would be out of the lineup. He will not play against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Friday, but wasn't scheduled to play in that game. The Canadiens play the Devils at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Price was playing his third game since returning from the injury last Friday against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center. He finished with 22 saves in two periods Wednesday. Rookie backup Mike Condon replaced Price and made 11 saves in a 5-1 win.

"The medical staff was really comfortable and Carey was really comfortable to come back," Therrien said. "If we would have had any doubt, for sure we were never going to take that risk. That's all we could say about it. He tweaked it again tonight and that's why we don't want to take any chances. It's still early in the season, so it's important for us that when he plays he's got to make sure he's healthy."

Price came to the bench midway through the second period to talk with athletic therapist Graham Rynbend. Condon said he could tell Price was laboring the rest of the period, so he mentally prepared to go into the game.

"I saw him coming to the bench in a TV timeout, but our medical staff told me nothing," Therrien said.

Condon found out he was going in during the intermission between the second and third periods.

"Goalies know how goalies move, and you can tell when a guy obviously isn't 100 percent or something happened and he got hit," Condon said. "I saw what happened and started getting my mind mentally ready. You've always got to be ready at the drop of a hat because you never know when that moment can come."

Canadiens forward Devante Smith-Pelly said he didn't know Price was coming out of the game until he saw Condon leading them back onto the ice for the start of the third period. Montreal was leading 2-1 at the time.

"It's next guy up," Montreal captain Max Pacioretty said. "You never want to see that happen, especially with Carey, our best player, but [Condon] did a great job in relief."

The Canadiens know more about Condon and what he offers now as opposed to the previous time Price was injured.

Condon started all nine games Price missed. Montreal went 5-2-2, and Condon had a .904 save percentage and 2.39 goals-against average, including a 4-0-1 record with a .937 save percentage and 1.60 GAA in his first five starts.

He allowed 13 goals in his last four starts and went 1-2-1 with a .857 save percentage and 3.47 GAA.

"Have a short memory, focus on the things that matter," Condon said of what he learned. "It doesn't matter about the game you played before, it just matters about being in the moment. Whether it's a bad goal or a nice save, you've got to move on to the next one because there's a lot of games to be played."

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