Habs to give Price a break

Carey Price will get the day off on Friday as he has been the busiest goaltender in the NHL this...

Carey Price will get the day off on Friday as he has been the busiest goaltender in the NHL this season. (QMI Agency/Jocelyn Malette)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:38 PM ET

MONTREAL -- Carey Price is getting a break.

With the Montreal Canadiens facing back-to-back games, backup goaltender Alex Auld will get just his second start of the season, on Friday in Atlanta against the Thrashers.

Price has been the busiest goaltender in the NHL, starting 21 of the Canadiens' first 22 games and playing 1,260 minutes 28 seconds. The second-busiest goaltender is Ilya Bryzgalov of the Phoenix Coyotes with 1,104 minutes 26 seconds. Price also leads the league in shots faced, 628.

Auld won his only start, back on Oct. 29, defeating the New York Islanders 3-1 on Long Island.

"I'm always ready, especially when you see there are back-to-backs," Auld said Thursday. "I've got some experience (with not playing). It can be long and trying, but you've got to be professional about it. It's why they brought me here. You're going to sit for long stretches, but you've got to deliver when you get the chance."

Auld said he has enjoyed watching Price play. The Canadiens opted for Price over playoff hero Jaroslav Halak during the off-season and Price is off to an impressive start. Price has given up two goals or fewer in 11 of his 21 starts, including six of the past eight games.

"To be good for that long, it's unique," Auld said. "It has been fun watching him from my front row seat."

The Canadiens are home to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

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