In today’s News & Notes, the Montreal Canadiens will be without their starting goaltender on their upcoming three-game road trip, Zdeno Chara is ready to return to NHL action, Matt Dumba is out for three months and Taylor Hall is expected to miss the New Jersey Devils’ contest against the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
Price Out for Habs
The Canadiens will be without Carey Price for their three-game road trip after the team announced that he will not travel with them to Florida due to a lower-body injury. The Canadiens kick off their road trip against the Florida Panthers on Friday and then head to Tampa on Saturday. They’ll close out their road trip against the Dallas Stars on Monday.
This might be a good opportunity for Price to get back into the right frame of mind after an uncharacteristically average start to the season. The Canadiens’ franchise goaltender has played in 30 games this season, compiling a 15-10-4 record with a 2.84 goals-against average and .904 save percentage. This time away from the ice may do him well in getting back to proper form.
The Canadiens will turn to Antti Niemi to replace Price as their starter in the interim. As Price’s backup, Niemi has gone 4-3-1 with a 4.14 goals-against average and .876 save percentage this season. He’ll also look to bounce back into form with some additional starting time in Price’s absence.
Zdeno Chara Returns to Bruins Lineup
The Bruins will be getting Chara back in their lineup after the 6-foot-9 blueliner missed 19 games with a knee injury. The Bruins’ captain will return to action when the Bruins take on the Devils on Thursday night at home.
The last time Chara played in a game for the Bruins, he exited a close contest between Boston and the Colorado Avalanche. His absence proved to be the difference-maker, however, as the Bruins would lose 6-3 in that game after an onslaught from the Avalanche that Chara was doing an excellent job of shutting down.
Related: 7 Cool Thins About Zdeno Chara
In 18 games this season, Chara has scored three goals and four points.
In addition to Chara, the Bruins will also be getting Jake DeBrusk and Kevan Miller back in action after the two players missed nine games and 13 games respectively. Unfortunately, Charlie McAvoy will be out with a lower-body injury.
Dumba Out 3 Months
The Minnesota Wild will be without Dumba for three months after the 24-year-old blueliner underwent successful surgery to repair a ruptured right pectoralis muscle. The surgery was performed by Dr. Brad Nelson at TRIA Orthopaedic Center, according to the Wild. It will keep Dumba out for at least three months as well.
Dumba has been one of the lone bright spots for the Wild this season as the team is sitting in limbo, just outside of a playoff spot. The young defender has scored 12 goals and 22 points in 32 games this season and also has 60 hits on the year. With his career-high of 14 goals just ever-so-slightly out of reach, Dumba will have a chance to match or beat his total at the tail-end of the 2018-19 regular season.
Hall to Miss Game
Hall is expected to miss the Devils contest against the Bruins on Thursday and is considered day-to-day moving forward. The veteran forward missed two games earlier in December for the same injury, Chris Ryan is reporting. While this is good news for the Bruins as they’ll be avoiding one of the most lethal players at the left-wing position, this is obviously unfortunate news for the Devils.
In 33 games this season, the 2018 Hart Trophy-winner already has 11 goals and 37 points and is proving that this move to New Jersey was the best thing that could have happened to him on a personal level.
In addition to Hall missing the game against the Bruins, the Devils will also be without Marcus Johansson who has been on the injured reserve since Dec. 21 with an upper-body injury. With his absence from practice this morning, it’s safe to assume he’ll be a scratch in the contest.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for seven years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.