Carey Price returned to practice with the Montreal Canadiens this morning, but was injured and left the ice shortly after taking his place in net.
Michel Therrien addressed the media after practice and said that Price had aggravated a lower body injury during the Olympic Games and played through it. However he had it flare up again this morning when he began practice.
Price of course, was excellent throughout the Olympics, shutting out both the United States in the semi-final and Sweden in the Gold Medal Game en route to winning gold. He won the top goaltender award for his efforts.
Price will not dress tonight against the Detroit Red Wings, when Peter Budaj will start, and will also not travel with the team to Pittsburgh to face the Eastern Conference leading Penguins.
Dustin Tokarski was recalled from the Hamilton Bulldogs and will arrive in Montreal in time to backup Budaj tonight. It was not yet announced who will start the game tomorrow in Pittsburgh.
Tokarski has been solid all season for the young Bulldogs team. He has posted a 17-13-2r record with a 2.34 goals against average and .919 save percentage in the American Hockey League.
It goes without saying the a significant injury to Price would be a disaster to the Canadiens playoff chances. Therrien said today that he is day to day and will only miss the next two games for sure, and is not yet being ruled out of Saturday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Price has been the main reason for any Habs success this season. The Canadiens are in the bottom third in goal scoring this season, but are third in the Atlantic Division thanks to Price keeping the goals against in the five in the NHL.
It will be interesting to see who gets the start against Pittsburgh as it has been a long time since Budaj started on consecutive nights, but the Pens would be a difficult test for Tokarski, who has only played seven NHL games in his career