Olympic gold medallist Carey Price won't face Team Canada coach Mike Babcock's Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday due to injury.
Peter Budaj will instead get the call as the Canadiens revealed that Price will miss at least two games with a lower body injury. Dustin Tokarski has been called up from the American Hockey League to back up Budaj.
Montreal (32-21-6), tied with Toronto for the Atlantic Division's third and final guaranteed playoff spot, went into the Olympic break on a three-game winning streak. Price made 31 saves to help beat Carolina 4-1 on Feb. 8.
As far Babcock, he led Canada to its second straight Olympic gold medal with a roster of NHL all-stars that went unbeaten in six games at Sochi, capping it with the shutout wins over the United States and Sweden with Price in net.
One noticeable absence from the Swedish team was that of Red Wings leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg, who played one game in Sochi before suffering another back injury. He had surgery Friday in New York to remove a fragmented disk and may not play for the rest of the regular season.
Zetterberg, who also missed 11 games in December because of a herniated disc, has team highs of 16 goals and 32 assists.
"I don't anticipate he'll be ready to play in any games of the regular season," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "I'm hopeful that we can play our way into the playoffs and that he'll be back, but that's down the road."
Detroit (26-20-12) is clinging to the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot by one point and will be in for a fight to extend its run of playoff appearances to 23 consecutive seasons.
The Red Wings went 3-1-1 in their last five before the break, but fell 4-2 to Tampa Bay on Feb. 8 in their last game. Jimmy Howard, who was Team USA's third goaltender in Sochi but did not get to play, made 24 saves. Daniel Alfredsson and Tomas Jurco, who were in the Olympics with Sweden and the Czech Republic, respectively, each scored.
"It's going to be a tight race just like last year to end and we need all the bodies we can get," said Red Wings defenceman Jonathan Ericsson, also Zetterberg's teammate with the Swedes.
"Hank has been our best player all year."
Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall and Gustav Nyquist had a goal and an assist apiece as Detroit beat Montreal 4-1 on Jan. 24 in the first meeting this season.