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Brian Gionta has eight goals, tied for team lead in Montreal ((Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images))

The Montreal Canadiens will be without the services of speedy forward Brian Gionta for an indefinite time, according to reports in La Presse and RDS.

Gionta, 30, broke a bone in his left foot early this month and did not play in the club's two most recent games.

The Rochester, N.Y., native had scored four goals and an assist in his last five games; he also had five assists through 19 games and was successful in his only shootout attempt.

"The players will have to raise their game to try to make up for it," Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin said. "It opens a door for someone.

"We've been waiting for that since the start of the season."

Montreal is coming off a 3-2 shootout win over Carolina. The Canadiens are back in action Friday for a road game against Washington, returning for a home game the following night against Detroit.

The club said Wednesday it was activating defenceman Ryan O'Byrne, who hasn't played since early October due to a knee injury. Mathieu Carle was assigned to the American Hockey League.