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NHL Buzz: Price out until at least next week for Canadiens

Bowness out of COVID-19 protocol, will coach Stars; Malkin skates for Penguins for first time since injury

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Montreal Canadiens

Carey Price will be out until next week with a lower-body injury.

The goalie did not play in a 4-2 loss at the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday and will not play at Winnipeg on Saturday. He did not travel for a 3-2 loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

"Carey needs a few more days off," coach Dominique Ducharme said. "He's been seen by our doctors and he needs some more time. At this point, we think he should be back sometime next week."

Jake Allen made 23 saves Thursday in his second straight start Thursday with Cayden Primeau as the backup.

Price experienced discomfort during a 3-2 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday. He played the entire game before he was looked at by medical staff.

Ducharme said the injury had been lingering prior to Monday and the decision to rest him was partly precautionary.

"It just got a little bit worse," Ducharme said. "We don't want to get in a situation where it gets too bad and now he's missing a long time or so on. We want to be careful with that. That's the reason why he's going to get a few games off and we're confident that somewhere next week he's going to be back.

"From there? We'll see. Obviously it's going to be a balance between playing enough, getting enough rest, practice time, with the schedule we have. We'll see how he is, how the injury is being managed." 

Montreal hosts Toronto on Monday and the Calgary Flames on Wednesday and Friday. -- Sean Farrell

 

Dallas Stars

Rick Bowness was removed from NHL COVID-19 protocol and coached the Stars in a 5-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.

Bowness rejoined the Stars after a false positive COVID-19 test.

"I get it," Bowness told the Stars website. "The safety of our people is first and foremost on everyone's mind. NHL protocol is very strict for a reason. You see what is going on in Vancouver (19 players on COVID-19 protocol list) and some of these other places, so I get it. A false positive is very frustrating, but it happens."

The 66-year-old was in quarantine in North Carolina after he was pulled before the third period of a 1-0 loss at the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday due to protocol. Assistant John Stevens replaced Bowness against the Hurricanes and coached the Stars in a 4-2 loss to the Blackhawks on Tuesday.

"I left the coaches alone," Bowness said. "If you're not on the bench, it's an easy game from the TV. That's one thing I realized last night: 'Man, this is an easy game to play when you're watching.' It's not so easy when you're on the ice or behind the bench."

The Stars (14-14-10) are sixth in the eight-team Discover Central Division. The top four teams will make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Listen we know where we are," Bowness said. "We've put ourselves here and we can't keep saying, 'We're close, we're close.' We're going to run out of games here unless we get a little bit of a streak going. [The Nashville Predators are] three games above .500, we're one game below .500. Right now, we're behind and we have to win some games to close that gap. You have to help yourself, and we're in position to help ourselves." -- Tracey Myers

 

Pittsburgh Penguins

Evgeni Malkin skated on his own Wednesday, the first time he was on the ice since sustaining a lower-body injury March 16, but the forward is considered week to week.

Malkin was injured on a hit by Boston Bruins defenseman Jarred Tinordi in the first period of a 2-1 loss.

"It's huge. It's a big step," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "Knowing how important he is to this team and just the amount of guys that we've seen go out here lately, it's always great when you hear that guys are progressing. It's the same with [Malkin].

"So it's a big step, and we've been battling pretty hard here with guys out of the lineup. We have to continue to do that."

The Penguins also are without forwards Brandon Tanev (upper body), Teddy Blueger (upper body) and Kasperi Kapanen (lower body).

Malkin did not travel with Pittsburgh on their six-game road trip. They played the fourth game, a 5-2 win at the New York Rangers, on Thursday.

The Penguins are 7-3-1 without Malkin.

Pittsburgh (25-13-2) is third in the eight-team MassMutual East Division, four points behind the division-leading New York Islanders. The top four teams in the division will make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. -- Wes Crosby

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