After spending more than three months on injured reserve, reigning NHL MVP Carey Price will return to the Montreal Canadiens' lineup early next week
“Not sure if it's going to be the Florida game [in Montreal on Tuesday] or the next night in Buffalo, but I would expect he's going to play one of those two games,” beat writer Pat Hickey revealed in a video posted in the wake of Montreal's 3–2 win over the Sabres on Thursday.
Price has been out of action since suffering a lower-body injury on Nov. 25.
Speaking to the media in Montreal last week, Price hinted that his return might be on the horizon.
“I love playing hockey and I want to be out there as quickly as possible,” he said. “I want to be out there playing the game that I love.
"It's not a matter of protecting me," he said, specifically addressing those who wanted to see him shut down for the season. "I'm going to play, regardless. I’d rather do it sooner than later."
While it comes to late to salvage the team's playoff hopes, the timing of Price's return is significant. The Canadiens would like to know that he's capable of returning to form ahead of having to make any offseason decisions about their goaltending. And Price himself would like to test his readiness ahead of this summer's World Cup of Hockey. The 28-year-old was named to the team's roster on March 2 but could be replaced if he's not good to go.