Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price took a step Tuesday in his recovery from a lower-body injury, skating with the team's head athletic therapist.
Price last played on Nov. 25, when he left a game against the New York Rangers after aggravating the unspecified injury, which has not required surgery.
The reigning NHL most valuable player will not return before the all-star break, which runs through Feb. 1, the Canadiens said last week.
Montreal's record after beating the Rangers on Nov. 25 was 17-4-2, and it was running away with the Atlantic. Since then, the Canadiens are 6-13-1 and have been surpassed by Florida and Detroit in the division race.
Backup Mike Condon and the recently acquired Ben Scrivens are manning Montreal's net in Price's absence.
Price won the Hart Trophy last season as the NHL's MVP and also claimed the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goalie after setting career bests in wins (44), shutouts (nine), goals-against average (1.96) and save percentage (.933).
This season Price, 28, has a 10-2-0 record with two shutouts, a goals-against average of 2.06 and a save percentage of .934.
Last month a panel of sports journalists named him the winner of the Lou Marsh Award as Canada's athlete of the year.