Alex Auld likely to start for Habs against Hurricanes, Carey Price out with flu

MONTREAL – Alex Auld may get his second straight start in the Montreal Canadiens net against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night because Carey Price has a flu.

Price missed the team’s game-day skate. Coach Jacques Martin said it would be a game-time decision whether Price will start. He expects Price to be well enough to serve as backup. If not, Curtis Sanford will be called up from the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.

Auld was pulled only 13 minutes into Montreal’s 5-4 loss to Toronto on Thursday after allowing three goals on nine shots.

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Defenceman Brent Sopel is to make his Canadiens debut after he was acquired in a trade with Atlanta this week. Sopel will skate with Yannick Weber on the third defence pair.

Paul Mara is expected to be a healthy scratch.

The Hurricanes will be without star centre Eric Staal, who was injured when he took a jarring hit in a 4-1 win over Pittsburgh on Friday night.

Coach Paul Maurice said the injury does not appear to be serious and that Staal should be back for a game on Tuesday.