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Canadiens' Price won't return against Bruins

by Arpon Basu

MONTREAL -- Goaltender Carey Price will not be in the Montreal Canadiens net when they face the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, coach Michel Therrien announced Tuesday.

It will be the eighth straight game Price has missed since returning from the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where he helped Canada win a second straight gold medal and was named the tournament's top goaltender by the International Ice Hockey Federation directorate.

Price aggravated a lower-body injury in his second practice with Canada in Sochi and played the entire tournament with the injury. The Canadiens want him to get back to 100 percent health in the hopes he could lead them on a long run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Price said last Tuesday that if it were the playoffs right now he would be able to play, but the game Wednesday will be the fourth he's missed since making those comments.

When asked Tuesday whether the team was upset Price got hurt playing at the Olympics, Therrien said he believed that both his team and his goaltender would ultimately benefit from the experience in Sochi.

"You wish, in a perfect world, that a player comes back from that great experience healthy," Therrien said. "Obviously that wasn't the case with Carey. But you can't look at this in the short term; you've got to look at this for the long term.

"Yes, we're disappointed Carey hasn't played, he's an important player, as we all know. But the benefit and the experience he got over there is going to be so crucial for him and for us down the road and for the years to come. That's the way we see it."

The Canadiens are 3-3-1 in the seven games Price has missed. Backup Peter Budaj and third goaltender Dustin Tokarski have combined for an .884 save percentage and allowed 24 goals in those seven games. Also, the Canadiens' penalty kill has allowed seven goals on 28 opportunities for a 75.0 percentage in Price's absence.

Price practiced with the Canadiens on Tuesday but spent the first 45 minutes of the skate working out with goaltending coach Stephane Waite and taking no shots from his teammates. He did take some shots toward the end of practice when the Canadiens ran some line rushes, but most of Price's practice was spent stretching and taking shots from Waite.

Therrien said Price will be re-evaluated at the end of the week before the Canadiens embark on a back-to-back in which they host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday and travel to play the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.

Therrien did not rule out Price playing in one of those games.

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