Canadiens’ Beaulieu out 2-3 weeks with lower-body injury

Canadiens Nathan Beaulieu stands behind Mike Condon to make the goal line stop against the St. Louis Blues.

BROSSARD, Que. — While defenceman Nathan Beaulieu will be out of action for at least two weeks with a lower-body injury, star goaltender Carey Price has taken another step toward a return, the Montreal Canadiens announced Friday.

Coach Michel Therrien said Price was to work out in his goalie equipment on Friday afternoon at Bell Centre for the first time since he suffered a lower-body injury on Nov. 25.

The NHL’s reigning MVP and top goaltender has been skating in a track suit in recent weeks, so being able to train in full equipment with team medical staff was "good news," said Therrien.

"We hope he’ll be able to come back," he said. "He’s been working very hard to come back."

He gave no indication of when Price will return to the ice or even if he will be back before the end of the season. He said Price will not be with the team for a four-game road trip that begins Monday in San Jose.

Beaulieu was injured when he crashed into a goalpost Monday night against the Nashville Predators.

Injuries are mounting on the Montreal defence. On Thursday, the team announced Jeff Petry will miss the rest of the season with a sports hernia that will require surgery and that Tom Gilbert underwent left knee surgery in Florida and would be out for six months.

It leaves the Canadiens with only six healthy defencemen, including recent call-up Victor Bartley from AHL St. John’s. The club is also missing forwards David Desharnais, Brian Flynn and Daniel Carr to injuries.

Therrien said the team expects to call up a defenceman and a forward for Saturday night’s game against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.

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