(Reuters) - Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will miss the remainder of the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference finals with the New York Rangers because of an undisclosed injury.
In a big blow to Montreal’s chances of making the Stanley Cup final, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said Price would sit out the rest of the best-of-seven series.
“We’ve lost our best player, but we’ve faced adversity this year already,” Therrien told reporters on Monday.
Price, who helped lead Canada to the gold medal in the Sochi Winter Olympics, was injured when he collided with Rangers forward Chris Kreider during Saturday’s series opener.
Kreider lost his footing and crashed feet-first into Price, who was left writhing in pain, clutching his right knee.
He played through to the end of the period but gave up four goals and did not return to the ice for the final period as the Rangers took the game 7-2.
“I‘m really disappointed,” Therrien said before Monday’s second game in Montreal.
”Obviously he’s our best player. Looking at the incident, it’s a reckless play. That’s the truth. It’s not the first time he’s gone at goalies.”
Kreider said he done nothing wrong, but said he did have one regret.
”I think I‘m a clean player,“ he said. ”I don’t go out with the intent to hurt anyone ever.
“I look back on it and think I wish I would’ve put it into the net,” he added.
Therrien declined to reveal who would start in goal for Game 2 although it was likely to be either Peter Budaj, who gave up three goals on five shots when replaced Price for the final period on Saturday, or Dustin Tokarski, who played in the American Hockey League this season.
Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; editing by Julian Linden