Michel Therrien, head coach of the Montreal Canadiens announced today that goaltender Carey Price will miss the remainder of the Eastern Conference Finals as a result of Saturday's collision with New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider.
The play occurred during the second period of Game 1, when Kreider came into the Canadiens zone with a head of steam as he chased down a pass to himself on his way to the net, slipping through two defenders. The Rangers' rookie crashed into Price's crease, getting a leg and a skate between the goalie which would cause Price to take a moment to get back to his feet.
Price didn't take part in the third period as the Canadiens got blown out by the final score of 7-2 in the opening game of the Eastern Conference Final.
As expected, members of the Canadiens' team were unhappy with the incident which didn't draw a penalty from the referees despite the lack of effort on the speedy-Rangers' part to avoid hitting Price.
"I don't think Kreider ran him, but he didn't do anything to avoid him," Brandon Prust said on Sunday. "He went skates up first and he didn't do anything to turn his body or minimize (the contact). Whether it's on purpose or accidental, he ran him pretty hard. Everybody thinks it was accidental, but we call it accidentally on purpose."
Prust, who signed with the Canadiens last off season after spending three seasons with the Rangers, tried to avenge his fallen teammate by going after Kreider in the third period. When Kreider didn't bite Prust's bait, the Montreal forward headed to the penalty box for slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct.
As for Kreider himself, he chalked it up to clumsy feet.
"I seem to have issues staying on my feet on those (plays)," Kreider said as quoted by the Daily News. " Then I went in skates first and had too much momentum. I couldn't really avoid him. It didn't feel too good."
Game 2 will take place tonight at Bell Centre with Peter Budaj between the pipes for Montreal and it is sure to be a heated affair as the Habs try to avoid a two-game hole before heading to New York. If the final score on Saturday wasn't enough to motivate Prust and his teammates, the absence of their star goaltender is sure to light the fire.
UPDATE: According to reports, 24-year-old Dustin Tokarski will get the start in tonight's Game 2.