OTTAWA -- Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is out at least through the weekend while being treated with antibiotics for a severe case of the flu and fever.
Price was placed on injured reserve Friday and is eligible to return Monday. He missed a season-opening 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday and has not played a regular-season game since Nov. 25, when he sprained the MCL in his right knee.
Price is being evaluated daily by Canadiens physician Dr. David Mulder.
"It is severe," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said Friday. "He's well treated. There's nothing we can do right now. We've got a few guys who got sick lately and obviously he got a really good one. He's in good hands.
"The one thing for him and for us, we'll take care of him regarding practice-wise, when he's going to be ready to start practicing. It could be 24 hours, 48 hours, we don't know right now. The most important thing is he's getting some good medication and he's getting some rest."
Veteran backup Al Montoya, signed as a free agent to a one-year contract worth $950,000 on July 1, made 29 saves against the Sabres and will start against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CITY, TVA Sports).
The Canadiens play their home opener against the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.
"There's one thing: He gave us a chance to win," Therrien said of Montoya's play against the Sabres. "There's going to be breakdowns. There's going to be a certain amount of scoring chances a team will have. When your [goalie] is making those big saves, it's allowing you to keep playing with confidence, and that's what [Montoya] did for us [Thursday]."
Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher said, "Al played great. We played too many games without Carey last year; I think we're all looking forward to getting him back, but to have Al step in and play the way that he did, it definitely gives the team a boost. He made some big saves last game. We were allowing a little bit too much.
"Certainly if we're going to go anywhere this year, it needs to be as a group. We can't rely on one player. It was a good step in the right direction. Al stepped in and did great, but at the same time, we're definitely looking forward to seeing Carey play again."