Montreal Canadiens Finally Give Carey Price Rest as They Host Carolina Hurricanes

OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 11: Charlie Lindgren #39 of the Montreal Canadiens guards his net during warmups prior to a game against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on January 11, 2020 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 11: Charlie Lindgren #39 of the Montreal Canadiens guards his net during warmups prior to a game against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on January 11, 2020 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /
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The Montreal Canadiens take on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at the Bell Centre. Carey Price will finally get a rest after starting 17of the last 18 games.

The Montreal Canadiens take to the ice in front of their home fans tonight for the first time since blowing a 2-0 lead against the New York Rangers and losing 5-2 on Thursday night. The home crowd may be disappointed but this game at least promises to be a high scoring affair which should lead to some entertainment for those in attendance.

The Canadiens are finally going to give Carey Price a break after he started 17 of the team’s last 18 games. The Habs starter has not been at his best lately and it appears the heaviest workload in the National Hockey League may be catching up with the 32 year old netminder.

With Price finally getting a rest, backup Charlie Lindgren will be between the pipes for the Habs. He has played four games this season and has a 1-3-0 record with a 3.48 goals against average and a .880 save percentage.

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In the opposing goal, the Hurricanes are trying to find answers after both James Reimer and Petr Mrazek were injured a week ago. The Toronto Maple Leafs offered them their emergency back up goaltender who was the team’s 42 year old Zamboni driver and the Leafs could not score a goal on him in the third period and lost 6-3 to the Canes.

With both of their regular goaltenders still injured, the Hurricanes have been using minor leaguers Alex Nedeljkovic and Anton Forsberg. Nedeljkovic started against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and allowed four goals on 16 shots in a 4-1 loss. Forsberg suited up against the Colorado Avalanche last night and the Canes fell 3-2.

Nedeljkovic will likely get the start tonight and the Hurricanes will be playing on back to back nights. This should give the Habs an opportunity for some offensive chances and with the team’s third string goaltender in net, they should be able to score a few.

Of course, Lindgren has been no brick wall for the Habs. If he does get the win tonight, the Canadiens would finally have a backup goaltender with more wins than the Zamboni driver that won one for the Hurricanes.

It sounds like Xavier Ouellet will also return to the lineup after missing time with a concussion. Ouellet was hit hard into the end boards by a forechecking Garnet Hathaway just over a week ago but is going to be back in action tonight.

This likely means Karl Alzner’s time on the Habs roster is likely up. He played fine in three outings filling in for the many injuries the Habs have been dealing with. The Laval Rocket have also been bit by the injury bug so sending either Alzner or maybe Christian Folin down will be a boost for the Rocket as they are in a playoff chase.

The Habs are very much not in a playoff chase this season. They are nine points back of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 16 games left on the schedule. It is unfortunate that it is still February and we are already playing out the string in Montreal, but this will be the third straight year without playoffs for the Habs.

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The Hurricanes on the other hand are in a battle for one of the two wildcard spots. They are two points back of the Columbus Blue Jackets but have three games in hand. The New York Rangers and Florida Panthers are also fighting to grab a wildcard spot so the Habs could deal the Hurricanes a blow to their playoff hopes tonight.