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Canadiens goalie Carey Price doubtful for opener against Leafs due to illness

CLERMONT, Que. – Canadiens goaltender Carey Price has the flu and is doubtful for Montreal’s regular-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.

Backup netminder Alex Auld is expected to play if Price is unavailable. The club has yet to decide whether to call up Curtis Sanford from AHL Hamilton as a backup.

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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.