Author: Mike Halford

Carey Price,

Price (lower body) leaves Montreal for evaluation, Habs to update status tomorrow

Some interesting developments out of Montreal on Monday, regarding the health of star goalie Carey Price.

Price, who’s missed the last five games with a lower-body injury, has left the city seeking additional medical assessment, per La Presse. The Canadiens confirmed that Price was out of town, adding that head coach Michel Therrien would have a status update on Tuesday.

Last Monday, the Habs announced that Price — who was hurt during a 4-3 loss to Edmonton on Oct. 29 — was only supposed to miss one week of action. But the reigning league MVP wasn’t at practice this morning (Dustin Tokarski and Mike Condon were, however).

While the optics around this latest development might cause concern, it’s possible they’re part of Montreal taking a cautious approach with Price.

Simply put, there’s little reason to rush him back into action. The Canadiens currently sit atop the league, with 27 points, and have fared extremely well with Condon replacing Price as their No. 1 netminder.

The 25-year-old has been terrific in his first NHL campaign, posting a 6-0-1 record with a .940 save percentage and 1.57 GAA.

Barring a stunning development, it’s safe to assume Condon will be in net on Wednesday, when the Habs take on the Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN). This is also a light stretch of the schedule for Montreal, with just two games in an eight-day span, so Condon could be in line for an additional start as well.

Hutton hurt, so Preds recall Mazanec; Nystrom placed on IR

Carter Hutton, Jonathan Ericsson

Some roster shuffling in Nashville today, as the Predators made an emergency recall for goalie Marek Mazanec — to replace injured backup Carter Hutton — and also placed veteran forward Eric Nystrom on IR.

It’s unclear what’s ailing Hutton (the injury was reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, not the Preds or any Nashville writers.) Hutton, Pekka Rinne‘s little-used backup, has only played twice this year — his last outing was eight days ago, when he allowed four goals on 28 shots in a loss to Anaheim.

Nashville hosts Ottawa tomorrow, and the Mazanec emergency recall suggests Hutton could’ve been hurt while practicing. Or he’s fallen ill.

As for Nystrom, he hasn’t played since getting just over 10 minutes in a Halloween loss to the Kings, and missed the last three games with an upper-body injury.

The 32-year-old’s scored three goals in 10 games this year, while averaging 11:33 TOI per night.

No hearing scheduled for Larsson after McCann hit

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Devils blueliner Adam Larsson doesn’t have a disciplinary hearing scheduled after getting tossed for a hit on Vancouver rookie Jared McCann, per an NHL spokesman.

Larsson was given an interference major and game misconduct during Sunday’s game, a 4-3 New Jersey win in OT. The hit occurred midway through the third period; McCann left the playing surface briefly, but returned to the game.

Following the game, Larsson’s New Jersey teammates and head coach John Hynes disagreed with the call on the ice.

“It’s a difficult play for referees to call in motion,” Hynes said, per the Star-Ledger. “But our perception was that it was a fair play.”

I’m not really worried about them suspending him,” added Devils captain Andy Greene.

The Devils next play on Tuesday, a home date against the St. Louis Blues.

Bad news for Bolts: Palat (lower body) out 3-5 weeks after getting tangled with Niederreiter

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One third of the Triplets will be out for a while.

Ondrej Palat, fifth on the Lightning in scoring with seven points through 16 games, will miss the next 3-5 weeks of action with a lower-body injury, the club announced on Monday.

Palat was hurt during a loss to Minnesota over the weekend, after getting tangled with Wild forward Nino Niederreiter during a net-front battle. Palat finished with just 11 shifts for 8:35 of ice time.

The loss is a tough one for Tampa Bay, a team that’s surprisingly struggled to score goals this season. The top-ranked offense from a year ago sits middle of the pack in goals for this season, and was shutout by Minnesota over the weekend.

Though Palat has been split from Triplet linemates Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson at times this season, he’s still one of the team’s best offensive producers.

The 24-year-old scored a career-high 63 points last season, and led the Lightning in assists, with 47.

As for Palat’s replacement, Tampa Bay has yet to recall a forward. Jonathan Drouin returned from injury to face the Wild over the weekend, while Erik Condra was scratched from the lineup.

Slumping Isles bring up d-man prospect Pelech

Adam Pelech, Lee Stempniak
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The New York Islanders have lost five of their last six and, perhaps looking for a spark, made a move from their minor-league affiliate on Monday.

Defenseman Adam Pelech, the club’s third-round pick (65th overall) at the 2012 draft, has been brought up to the bigs for the first time in his career, the club announced. Pelech got the call after a solid start to the season in Bridgeport; he had four points and a team-best plus-9 rating through 14 games and scored both of his goals this year shorthanded, which is somewhat rare from a defenseman.

A former standout with OHL Erie — Pelech represented Canada at the U18 and World Junior tournaments — Pelech could draw into the Islanders’ lineup soon. The club starts a three-game Western road swing in San Jose on Tuesday, and there’s some though Pelech could draw in and replace Brian Strait on the blueline.

Strait hasn’t been great this season and struggled in Sunday’s loss to the Bruins, taking a delay of game penalty while finishing with just 10:53 of ice time, the lowest among Isles d-men.