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Price won't back away from a challenge

Montreal Canadiens' Carey Price takes a break during his NHL pre-season hockey play. ...

Montreal Canadiens' Carey Price takes a break during his NHL pre-season hockey play. (REUTERS/Shaun Best)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:58 AM ET

One day after getting booed off the ice, Canadiens goaltender Carey Price had a message for Montreal hockey fans who already are upset with his performance between the pipes.

"Relax, chill out," Price told reporters Thursday. "We have lots of time. We're not winning the Stanley Cup in the first exhibition game."

Despite playing in front of a hometown crowd, Price left the ice midway through the second period Wednesday night to an onslaught of boos and catcalls. The 23-year-old allowed four goals on nine shots in a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins.

It's not exactly how Price envisioned starting the season as the Canadiens clear-cut No. 1 goaltender but he isn't going to put much stock into one exhibition game.

"It wasn't a good performance, obviously," Price said. "It's not how I planned things.

"It's just the way it panned out. That's why we have these games, to work things out. Not only myself, but the team. And not just our team, every team."

Price finds himself in the unenviable position of trying to replace Jaroslav Halak, who was traded to the St. Louis Blues during the off-season. Halak achieved folk-hero status in Montreal when he led the Canadiens on a Cinderella run through the 2010 playoffs.

Wednesday night's game turned into an opportunity for Canadiens fans to voice their displeasure and let general manager Pierre Gauthier know he traded away the wrong goalie.

That mentality didn't come as a total shock to Price, who says he welcomes the opportunity to win back the fan's support.

"I've never been one to back away from a challenge," said Price, who was 13-20-5 with a 2.77 GAA last season. "It's just the way I am.

"I'm not going to cower away from anything. I'll just be myself and accept what it is I have to do."

Franzen out three games

Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen is expected to miss at least three pre-season games with a thigh injury.

Franzen was injured during the first period of Wednesday night's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins when he collided with Brooks Orpik. The Penguins defenceman was given a major penalty for kneeing on the play and Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he hopes Orpik is fined for the questionable hit.

Franzen's injury is being described as a charley horse and he is expected to be back at full strength after a week of rest.

The 30-year-old had 10 goals and 11 assists in 27 games last season with Detroit. Franzen missed the majority of the season because of a torn ligament in his left knee.

Sauve out indefinitely

Vancouver defenceman Yann Sauve still does not have a timetable for his return after being hit by a car Monday.

The Montreal native suffered a concussion when he was struck in downtown Vancouver. He has been riding a stationary bicycle to remain in game shape but has not yet been cleared to skate.

Sauve, 20, was expected to begin the season with the AHL's Manitoba Moose. He spent the past four seasons with the QMJHL's Saint John Sea Dogs.


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