Brendan Gallagher and Carey Price will not play for the Montreal Canadiens against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, RDS).
Gallagher is out indefinitely after the forward broke his right thumb in a 3-2 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers at Bell Centre on Monday. Price is day to day after the goalie aggravated a lower-body injury in that game.
Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said Wednesday that he believes Gallagher won’t need surgery to repair the fracture.
“He’s still seeing the doctors and I think from what I understand, he needs just a little bit of time to see, with the swelling and everything, to make sure everything is in place,” Ducharme said. “We’re confident he won’t need that, but you never know.”
Gallagher left at 13:28 of the first period after he was hit by a shot by teammate Alexander Romanov.
“He’s the engine. He really is,” Montreal goalie Jake Allen said Tuesday of Gallagher. “You know what you’re getting from ‘Gally’ every game. He’s going to be in the hard areas. He’s going to do the things that you know you need to do and pay the price to win. And don’t get me wrong, those are really tough shoes to fill, but I think we have a lot of guys in this room that can really fill that.”
Jesperi Kotkaniemi will take Gallagher’s place at right wing on a line with center Phillip Danault and left wing Tomas Tatar against the Maple Leafs.
Price made 21 saves against the Oilers and finished the game. Cayden Primeau will back up Allen.
“It’s something that has been carrying on for a little bit of time,” Ducharme said. “We just want to make sure he can take care of it and come back being 100 percent.”
Price will remain in Montreal for treatment but has not been ruled out when the Canadiens host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
“The info we have is it’s not something that is dangerous for his season or career,” Ducharme said. “We’re going to know more … in a couple days. … The chances of Carey playing against Winnipeg, it’s hard to tell right now because we need to see how he reacts after a couple days. But yeah, there’s a chance that Jake will play both games.”
The Canadiens (17-9-9) are fourth in the seven-team Scotia North Division, eight points ahead of the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames. The top four teams will make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Gallagher has scored 23 points (14 goals, nine assists) in 35 games this season.
“It’s tough. He’s a warrior in front of the net, and these kinds of things might happen through the season,” Tatar said Monday. “Obviously, he will be missed, and we have to do everything we can and battle and get as many points until he gets back, and hopefully he will be ready to play for us.”
Gallagher missed 18 games following surgery on his left hand after he was hit by a shot by Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber against the Dallas Stars on Jan. 4, 2017. He also missed 17 games the previous season after he broke two fingers on his left hand blocking a shot by New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk on Nov. 22, 2015.
“It’s obviously unfortunate news for ‘Gally,’ but when a door closes, another one opens for someone else,” Allen said. “So it’s just the way you’ve got to look at it. It’s next man up.”
NHL.com columnist Dave Stubbs and independent correspondent Sean Farrell contributed to this report