JETS (7-3-1) at CANADIENS (10-2-0)
TV: NHLN, SN, RDS
MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens are going to find out how good they are without goalie Carey Price in the lineup when they begin a four-game home stand against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell Centre on Sunday.
Rookie goalie Mike Condon will start against Winnipeg in place of Price, who is sidelined for a week because of a lower-body injury. Montreal coach Michel Therrien said Price sustained the injury Thursday during the Canadiens' 4-3 loss at the Edmonton Oilers.
"We know Price is going to work hard to get back in the lineup and, for us, we can't worry about that," Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher said after the morning skate at the team's suburban practice facility. "We have a game to worry about but we understand; we have a guy very capable of stepping in and doing the job for the time being. Obviously you can't replace the best player in the world, but (Condon) is going to come in, he's going to do the job and we're going to have to play well in front of him to help him out."
Montreal recalled goalie Dustin Tokarski from St. John's of the AHL. The Canadiens host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, the New York Islanders on Thursday, and the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
"Michael did a really good job every time we asked him to play," Therrien said. "He's played three solid games, and Tokarski has got some experience, even if he's a young goalie. He's doing fine over there in St. John's, but we're going to go game by game and honestly we're focusing about [Sunday], and we'll discuss about the next game. But for us, our mentality, not only with our team but with our goalie, because Price is not there, we're going to go game by game."
Price won the Hart, Vezina and Jennings Trophies and Ted Lindsay Award last season after going 44-16-6 with a 1.96 goals-against average, .933 save percentage and nine shutouts.
"He's the best goalie in the League," Jets center Mathieu Perreault said. "So when you're playing the Canadiens and he's not in, you have to try and take advantage of it."
Price is 7-2-0 with a 2.01 GAA, .936 save percentage and two shutouts this season while helping Montreal to a 9-0-0 start.
"Well, the other guy's numbers are better, right? It's hard to imagine," Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said about Condon, who has been sharp through his first three NHL games.
The 25-year-old native of Needham, Mass., made 30 saves in a 6-2 win at the Calgary Flames on Friday, improving to 3-0-0 with a 1.67 GAA and .944 save percentage.
"I think with the depth and the structure that Montreal has, I'm not sure they don't rally around it a little bit," Maurice said. "Nobody's replacing a Carey Price or an elite player in the League when they're out of the lineup, but the game is more than the goaltender."
The Jets are 4-1-0 on the road. Right wing Nikolaj Ehlers' parents, Tina and Heinz, will attend the game and see him live for the first time in the NHL.
"It's definitely something special," said Ehlers, a 19-year-old from Denmark. "It's pretty nice to finally have them over here. Last year my dad couldn't come over all year, so it's nice to have them here and kind of show them what it is and how amazing it is to play in the NHL. It's cool."
Here are the projected lineups:
Andrew Ladd – Bryan Little – Blake Wheeler
Mathieu Perreault – Mark Scheifele – Nikolaj Ehlers
Alexander Burmistrov – Adam Lowry – Drew Stafford
Nic Petan – Andrew Copp - Chris Thorburn
Toby Enstrom – Dustin Byfuglien
Ben Chiarot – Tyler Myers
Mark Stuart – Jacob Trouba
Scratched: Adam Pardy, Anthony Peluso, Paul Postma
Injured: Grant Clitsome (back)
Max Pacioretty - Tomas Plekanec - Brendan Gallagher
Lars Eller - Alex Galchenyuk - Brian Flynn
Tomas Fleischmann - David Desharnais - Dale Weise
Paul Byron - Torrey Mitchell - Devante Smith-Pelly
Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin - Jeff Petry
Nathan Beaulieu - Tom Gilbert
Injured: Carey Price (lower body)
Scratched: Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi, Alexander Semin
Status report: Petan will be in the lineup after he was left out for the second time in three games Saturday. Semin is a healthy scratch for a third straight game. "The reason is that we were not pleased about the way that he was performing, and he's got to make sure when he'll get a chance to get back in the lineup that he's performing at, first of all, the level that I'm sure he expects, and the same thing with us," Therrien said. "But it's a long season and he's a good player and I'm sure we're going to need him down the road, but in the meantime I like what I saw from our guys out there."
Who's hot: Little has two goals and four assists in his past four games. ... Ladd has two goals and two assists in four games. Wheeler has scored in two straight games. ... Weise scored his first NHL hat trick Friday. ... Mitchell has two goals and two assists during a three-game points streak. ... Smith-Pelly also recorded a point in each game of Montreal's three-game road trip.