Montreal, QC, Canada (4E Sports) – The Montreal Canadiens announced that goaltender Carey Price will miss the remainder of the Eastern Conference Final due to an undisclosed injury, dealing a severe blow in their attempt to reach their first Stanley Cup Final in 21 years.
“We need to rally around Carey,” coach Michel Therrien said after the morning skate Monday. “We need to give him a chance to keep playing this season.”
Peter Budaj was the first goalie off the ice at the Canadiens’ morning skate but Therrien refused to confirm that he will start Game 2 at Bell Centre. The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 1-0.
Dustin Tokarski was the other goalie on the ice and could get his first career start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Price was injured at 3:15 of the second period of Game 1 when Rangers forward Chris Kreider lost his footing and crashed feet-first into Price.
Price was slow to get up and was clutching at his right knee while wincing in pain, but after talking with the Canadiens trainer he remained in the game. However, he was replaced by Budaj at the start of the third period.
Therrien said he didn’t believe Price, who has a 2.35 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in the playoffs, aggravated the injury by finishing the second period.
Therrien said Sunday that Kreider did not make enough of an effort to get out of Price’s way, and his take on the play became more severe Monday in light of the loss of his No. 1 goaltender.
“It’s a reckless play. That’s the truth,” Therrien said. “And Kreider, this is not the first time he’s going at goalies. So we end up losing our best player.”
Kreider spoke briefly with reporters at Bell Centre following the Rangers’ morning skate Monday and maintained his position that he did nothing wrong.