Injury-riddled Canadiens close out long homestand

Washington (17-10-3) at Montreal (16-7-5), 7:00 pm EST

MONTREAL (Ticker) — The Montreal Canadiens will be without
captain Saku Koivu when they complete a seven-game homestand
against the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

Koivu injured his foot during the first period of the Thursday’s
3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Finn took five shifts
in the middle session before retreating to the locker room for

With Chris Higgins and defensemen Mike Komisarek and Mathieu
Dandenault already on the shelf, the Canadiens’ injury list
continues to grow as Georges Laraque, Koivu and goaltender Carey
Price are also ailing.

“Carey still wasn’t feeling well this morning, so he went to see
the doctor this morning,” Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau told
the team’s web site. “Georges is still battling a lower body
injury. Saku is going to need an MRI, and (Higgins) is going to
meet with doctors on Saturday morning.”

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Koivu has recorded seven goals and 15 assists with a team-best
plus-11 rating in 28 games.

The Capitals are starting to get healthier as defenseman Mike
Green and center Sergei Fedorov both returned for Friday’s 5-1
rout of the Ottawa Senators.

Alex Ovechkin had a pair of goals and Fedorov and Nicklas
Backstrom added three assists apiece for Washington, which is
seeking its third straight win and fifth in its last six games.