Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price says he is staying off the ice for a little while longer as he deals with a lower-body injury.
Price met with reporters Tuesday before Montreal's game against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets to provide an update on his recovery.
He said he suffered the injury in a warmup before Montreal's Nov. 2 game at Minnesota in which he gave up five goals on 26 shots in a 6-3 loss.
"When you're warmed up and you're running on a bit of adrenalin, you don't ever feel it's as bad until you wake up the next day and everything's cooled down and you're not feeling the adrenalin anymore," he said.
Price insisted the injury is minor and that he would "absolutely" be ready to play if the Canadiens were in the playoffs.
"It's just taking a little bit longer than expected because of the nature of my position," said the all-star goaltender.
"I just want to make sure I'm 100 per cent and can do my job to the best of my ability when I come back, so I'm just going to make sure I take my time with it and it won't be very long."
Price said he can take the time to properly heal thanks to the excellent play of Charlie Lindgren. The rookie goaltender is 3-1-0 with a 1.24 goals-against average and .964 save percentage in relief of Price and injured backup Al Montoya.
"Charlie's playing great and it's definitely buying me more time," Price added. "He's doing very good. He's got a great demeanour about himself and prepares himself well for games. It's good to see somebody step up and perform in a tough spot."
The Canadiens added goaltending depth Tuesday, claiming Finnish veteran Antti Niemi off waivers from Florida.