When it rains, it pours.
That was the story out of Montreal on Thursday as the Canadiens announced starting goalie Carey Price would be lost for the remainder of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with Ottawa due to a lower-body injury.
Price, 25, appeared to be hurt on Cory Conacher’s game-tying tally with 23 seconds left in regulation during Game 4. He got up gingerly and appeared to be laboring while making at save at the end of regulation.
In the OT session, Price was replaced in goal by backup Peter Budaj, who proceeded to allow Kyle Turris’ game winner less than three minutes into the extra frame.
The loss is a huge one for the Habs, as Price has been arguably the club’s most important player this year.
In late April, head coach Michel Therrien responded to Price’s slumping play by saying the former All-Star netminder needed to be Montreal’s leader and best player, if the club hoped to have any success.
Price appeared in 39 games during the regular season, posting a 21-13-4 record with a .905 save percentage and 2.59 GAA.
He was 1-2 through the first four games of the playoffs with an .894 save percentage and 3.26 GAA.
Somehow, Montreal will have to battle on without him and two other key players — captain Brian Gionta, who is done for the year with torn biceps, and Lars Eller, who was knocked out of the series in Game 1 on a huge hit from Sens defenseman Eric Gryba.
Budaj will start in place of Price for Game 5. Courtesy TSN’s Brent Wallace, here’s Budaj’s postseason resume:
Peter Budaj career playoff numbers: 5gms – (0-1-0) .887 gaa 4.03 sv%. Has never started a playoff game in his career
— Brent Wallace (@tsn_wally) May 9, 2013