Mike Komisarek's iron man streak is no more, but that could be the least of Montreal's worries.
The rugged Canadiens defenceman will miss at least three weeks with a "lower body injury," meaning his team-high string of 196 consecutive games played will end Saturday when Montreal hosts Boston (CBC, 7 p.m. ET).
Komisarek was injured in the first period of Montreal's 4-2 victory in Boston on Thursday.
"Mike has a lower body injury — that's all I can tell you — and he's going to be out a minimum of three weeks," said Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau. "We hope that after two weeks we can evaluate him and go day-to-day after that, but it's going to be in that vicinity."
Komisarek's injury could put him in danger of missing the start of the playoffs, which begin April 9.
Montreal, which has seven games remaining in its regular season, is battling for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, thanks largely to the strong play of Komisarek. Though he has just 17 points in 75 games, the 26-year-old leads the NHL in blocked shots, and tops all defencemen in hits.
Josh Gorges will move into Komisarek's spot on the top defence pair with Andrei Markov. Mark Streit will move back to defence after playing left wing for most of this season.
Left-winger Guillaume Latendresse was also to sit out Saturday night against the Bruins with spasms in his neck from a check he received during the game in Boston. His injury is considered day-to-day.