With Price out, Peter Budaj is to make his first career playoff start. Robert Mayer of the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs is his backup. The Canadiens have been hit hard by injuries. A day earlier, captain Brian Gionta was ruled out for the rest of the playoffs with a torn left biceps tendon. He is to have surgery Friday. Also injured are forwards Lars Eller, Brandon Prust and Ryan White.
Price, who has been stellar for most of the season, had been pulled from consecutive starts for the first time in his career while letting in 12 goals on only 53 shots, while backup Peter Budaj let in the other six.
Price has a 6.59 goals-against average while losing three straight starts.
Price bounced back after allowing four goals in two periods to the Bruins in what turned out to be a 6-5 shootout victory in Boston on Wednesday night. Backup Peter Budaj got the win that night.
This was a nice bounce back for Price, who allowed 12 goals in his previous two starts.
Price gave up a season-high seven goals in an overtime loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday and has allowed 12 over the past two games. He was 11-3-2 with a 1.90 goals-against average in his first 16 games.
The Montreal Canadiens goaltender was 5-0-2 with a 1.52 goals-against average in his previous seven games. He hadn't given up seven or more goals since allowing a career-high eight in a loss at Boston on Feb. 9, 2011.
Price has been remarkable of late, going 4-0-2 with two shutouts and a 1.30 GAA. He leads the league with 11 wins.
Don't let this setback affect your usage of Price, who is sizzling with a 2.12 GAA.
Price, who leads the league with nine wins, has compiled a 1.28 GAA during a three-start winning streak.
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