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Illness could keep Habs' Price from starting against Leafs

The Canadian Press

10/6/2010 1:34:47 PM

CLERMONT, Que. - Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is sick with the flu and might not play in Montreal's NHL season opener Thursday night against the Maple Leafs in Toronto.

Price and injured defenceman Andrei Markov, who is also sick, did not take part in practice Wednesday.

Price began to feel ill on Tuesday. Backup netminder Alex Auld is expected to play if Price is unavailable.

"It's going to depend on how he feels tomorrow," said Canadiens coach Jaques Martin on Wednesday. "We can't be concerned. We just have to deal with the reality. If he's ready to play tomorrow, then he'll play. if he's not, that's why we have an experienced netminder like Alex Auld."

The club has yet to decide whether to call up Curtis Sanford from AHL Hamilton as a backup.

Price, 23, is expected to be the team's regular starter this season after playoff star Jaroslav Halak was dealt to St. Louis last June.

Price was inconsistent last season and saw only spot duty during the Canadiens' best post-season run since the last of their 24 Stanley Cup triumphs in 1993.