BOSTON (CBS) — It’s too soon for the Bruins to look ahead past their first-round opponent, because they have a job to do and need to win one more game before advancing to the second round. However, those of us on the outside have a lot of free time and don’t need to worry about winning a hockey game, so there’s room to look ahead and see what the next round may bring.
And that next round may be missing the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, after the Montreal Canadiens announced Thursday morning that Carey Price will not be able to return this series against Ottawa.
The Canadiens currently trail in the series 3-1, with Game 5 set for Thursday night in Montreal. Price allowed the game-tying goal from Cory Conacher in the final minute of Tuesday’s Game 4, and he suffered a lower-body injury attempting to make a save at the final horn of regulation. Backup Peter Budaj was forced into action for overtime, and he allowed the game-winning goal from Kyle Turris at 2:32 of overtime.
The Canadiens did not expand on the injury, nor did they say whether he’d be able to return if the Canadiens can come back in the series and move on to the second round. However, given that the team is ruling him out already for what could be three more games, the injury must be fairly serious.
“I am confident in Peter Budaj,” head coach Michel Therrien said. “Every time we needed him, he performed well.”
Budaj posted an impressive 8-1-1 record for Montreal this season, with a 2.28 goals-against average and .908 save percentage.