Canadiens lose to Wild as Shea Weber injured by puck
Montreal Canadiens defenceman Shea Weber (6) gets some medical attention after being hit by a puck during first period NHL hockey action against the Minnesota Wild Monday, January 7, 2019 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, January 8, 2019 6:34AM EST
MONTREAL -- It looks like the Montreal Canadiens avoided the worst after losing captain Shea Weber to a non-serious injury Monday night.
Weber left Montreal's 1-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild after taking a puck to the face in the first period. The 33-year-old went to the hospital and X-rays showed no fracture on his left cheek.
The Canadiens captain will travel with the team on their two-game road trip, starting Tuesday night in Detroit.
It's a major break for the Canadiens, who have lost two games in a row and are struggling get back in a playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
"He'll go on the road trip with us," confirmed Claude Julien. "The tests were positive. I assume he will play (on Tuesday) but I can't guarantee it."
Weber was injured in the first period after taking a puck to the face six minutes into the encounter. The Canadiens captain blocked a shot by Mikael Granlund and the puck rode up his own stick and hit him on the cheek.
Weber winced in pain on the bench but he still played seven more shifts to finish the first period. He did not return for the second. The towering defenceman already missed the first 24 games of the season with foot and knee injuries dating back to last season.
Defencemen Jeff Petry, Victor Mete and Jordie Benn were forced to carry the load of Weber's absence, playing 27:08, 21:15 and 21:12 respectively.
"Obviously that's a big loss in the first period," said Petry. "You never want to lose a guy. It's about guys playing in different roles and playing a little more than normal. It does shake things up a little bit."
Montreal (22-16-5) was also without forward Kenny Agostino for most of the game. Agostino was given a game misconduct just 2:28 into the match because of a late hit on Minnesota's Eric Fehr, who left the game after knocking his head on the edge of the players' bench. Fehr did not return.
The depleted roster finally took its toll on Julien's men in the third period as Granlund netted his first goal since Nov. 29.
"We were in it the whole time," said the Canadiens coach. "We had better scoring chances than they did. One mistake ended up costing us the game."
That mistake belonged to Petry, who made an awful no-look pass deep in his own zone. The puck went right to Granlund, who waited out Price to score the game's only goal with 13:02 left on the clock.
"It was just a mistake. I should have used the boards," said Petry. "I thought I saw where Mike (Reilly) was and put it right in the middle and I should have just sucked the forecheck in a little more and used an indirect instead of trying to make a direct pass."
Devan Dubnyk did the rest for Minnesota, stopping all 32 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season.
The Wild (21-17-3) have won eight consecutive games against the Canadiens dating back to Nov. 8, 2014. Granlund has at least a point in each of those victories.
"It was a fairly sloppy game overall," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "It seemed like the ice was so fast that pucks were spinning like a curling rock every time it hit somebody's stick. The best pass was the one they gave Granlund."
The Wild have won three straight games, all on the road.
Price stopped 24-of-25 shots in defeat as the Canadiens failed to avenge a 7-1 loss the last time these two teams met - Montreal's worst defeat of the season.