Canadiens G Carey Price to miss at least six weeks with a lower-body injury

The Montreal Canadiens announced that goaltender Carey Price will miss at least the next six weeks with a lower-body injury.

Price is expected to miss at least 16 games, with only a slim chance he could return for the Winter Classic outdoor game Jan. 1 in Foxborough, Massachusetts, if he heals quickly.

"He's a big part of our team,'' star defenseman P.K. Subban said. "But if we think we're going to get any sympathy from the teams we're going to play in the next six weeks, we're not.

"The good thing is we've had to deal with not having Price in the lineup for a little while already and we know what that means. When a key part of your team goes down, everyone has to pull up their socks and be a little better.''

Price, who was originally injured Oct. 29 in a 4-3 loss at the Edmonton Oilers, will not require surgery.

Price first returned Nov. 20 in a 5-3 win at the New York Islanders and played Nov. 22 at home against the Islanders, but he left the Nov. 25 game at the New York Rangers after aggravating the injury.

In 14 games this season as Price's backup, rookie Mike Condon is 8-2-3 with a 2.19 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. In the nine games that Price missed, Condon was 5-2-2 with an 2.31 GAA and .909 save percentage.

"I'm a lot more comfortable,'' Condon said. "I've had 14 appearances so far, so every time you go out there it gets a little more familiar and easier.''

General manager Marc Bergevin said he will not go shopping for another goaltender just yet.

"I don't discuss transactions, but we're really comfortable with Mike,'' Bergevin said. "I don't feel there's a need.

"We have Mike and Ticker [Tokarski]. I was at [an AHL game] and Zach Fucale played really well. That's why you have many goalies in your system. Now, if we lose three goalies, that's a different story.''

Bergevin said he was convinced by team doctors and trainers that Price did not return too early from his previous injury.

"It was not because he came back too quick that he got injured, but I understand the question,'' Bergevin said. "You always wonder if that was the case, but we looked into it really deeply, and that was not the case.''

Price won the Ted Lindsay, Jennings, Vezina and Hart trophies last season. He was the first goaltender in NHL history to win all four awards in the same season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.