Canadians Hope to have Price in Goal for Game 2
Game 2 of the best of seven NHL Eastern Conference Finals will be played tonight in Montreal when the New York Rangers visit the Montreal Canadians. The Rangers won Game 1 in Montreal 7-2 to take a 1-0 early lead in the series.
Montreal might have to play Game 2 without Carey Price its star goalie.
Michel Therrien the Canadians coach along with everyone across Montreal and likely much of Canada are nervous about whether Price can respond to therapy after Chris Kreider plowed into him skates first in New York’s Game 1 win on Saturday.
Price skated on the sore right knee on Sunday, but his fitness for the game is still in doubt.
If Price is not able to start then Peter Budaj the team’s backup likely will start. Also available is Dustin Tokarski the team’s third goalie.
Budaj has awful stats in limited playoff action in his career. He replaced Price for the entire third period of Game 1.
Budaj allowed three goals on just 8 New York shots, although two of the three goals were given up during Rangers’ power plays, including one 5 on 3 man advantage.
In his career, Budaj has played in seven playoff games with a record of 0-2-0 and a goals against average of 5.13.
Price was coming off two solid wins over Boston, before he was run into on Saturday in the series opener.
During the early part of the second period, Montreal trailed 2-0 when Kreider went on a breakaway. His shot missed the net and he lost his footing running into Price at a very high speed.
Price lay prone on the ice for a long period, but was able to get up and continue playing.
However, Price looked like he was laboring in net and New York was able to score twice in the last minute of play in the second. Price sat on the bench the entire third period.
Montreal was not pleased with Kreider’s hit on Price, but stopped short of saying it was deliberate. Kreider for this part denied he intentionally ran into Price.
Brandon Prust a forward for Montreal said Kreider should have tried not to run feet first into price and commented that Kreider has been known to run into goalies.
Kreider elbowed Marc-Andre Fleury the Pittsburgh goalie in the conference semifinals and injured Craig Anderson the Ottawa goalie in the 2013 playoffs when he plowed into him.
New York dominated Montreal in the series opener Saturday. The Rangers caught the Canadians flat footed and the tempo was much different from what they saw versus Boston.
With the Rangers ahead 5-1 during the third, Prust slashed Kreider on the hand and gave him a strong crosscheck. Prust was given two two-minue minor penalties along with a game misconduct.
Avenging the Price incident however will not be on the mind of Montreal in Game 2. The Canadians must win or will go to New York in a huge 2-0 hole for Game 3.
Pick: New York 3-1