Earlier Tuesday, injured starting goalie Carey Price (lower-body) told the media that he expects to be back in the lineup soon.
Price met with reporters Tuesday before Montreal's game against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets to provide an update on his recovery.
Price nevertheless hinted that the injury is not serious, and that he will benefit from the extra time to heal which Charlie Lindgren's strong play has afforded him.
The Canadiens goalie was injured on November 2 while warming up to play against the Minnesota Wild - a game the Canadiens lost 6-3.
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"It's just taking a little bit longer than expected because of the nature of my position", said the all-star goaltender.
Price insisted the injury is minor and that he would "absolutely" be ready to play if the Canadiens were in the playoffs.
Niemi appeared in two games with the Panthers, both in relief of James Reimer, posting an.872 save percentage and a 5.08 goals-against average. "I kind of expected it to be in the two-week range", said Price. He's got a great demeanour about himself and prepares himself well for games.
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