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All-Star G Price may return versus Thrashers

Montreal (27-11-6) at Atlanta (16-25-5),

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Montreal Canadiens have been rolling

without injured goaltender Carey Price.

The All-Star is nearing his return, though, and could play in

his first game since December 30 when the Canadiens host the

Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday.

In the eight games Price has missed with a sprained ankle,

Montreal has gone 6-2-0.

Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau has yet to decide whether to use

Price versus Atlanta, or on Wednesday night in New Jersey.

Price has not lost a game in regulation since a 2-1 defeat to

the Carolina Hurricanes on November 18, although he's played

only 12 games since then.

Despite surrendering 27 goals, backup netminder Jaroslav Halak

has done just enough to give the Canadiens an edge without

Price.

Atlanta, which has won two in a row for the second time this

season, is coming off a 7-2 triumph over the Nashville Predators

on Saturday.

The Thrashers' only other winning streak came when they posted

five straight victories from November 2-14.

Appointed team captain last week, Ilya Kovalchuk has scored

eight goals in his last nine games.

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