Montreal Canadiens defenceman Alexei Emelin's season is over.
The club announced Monday that the 26-year-old suffered a torn ligament in his left knee and will not be able to finish the season.
Emelin was injured in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Boston when he put a check on Bruins winger Milan Lucic and bounced back hard onto the ice. He was helped off by teammates and didn't return to the game.
"Anytime you lose a player for the season it's bad news, and this was a guy that was playing so well for us this year too. It sucks to see him have to go through that - I know what that's like - but we're going to have to find a way to fill that gap," said Josh Gorges. "The style he plays and what he brings to this team is hard to replace. It's up to us to be resilient, find ways and find answers. You can't stress too much about what isn't there - you have to find a way to move on, as hard as that may be."
Emelin had three goals and nine assists and is plus-2 through 38 games this season. Newly-acquired defenceman Davis Drewiske skated in Emelin's spot with Andrei Markov at practice Monday morning, while Nathan Beaulieu - called up on Sunday from Hamilton - was paired with Francis Bouillon.
The Canadiens are already without the services of forward Rene Bourque (concussion), defenceman Raphael Diaz (concussion), defenceman Yannick Weber (knee) and forward Colby Armstrong (lower body).
Bourque, however, is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday when the Canadiens host the Washington Capitals.
"He's an important player for this organization and we're obviously extremely happy he's nearing his return," head coach Michel Therrien said. "We hope to be able to give him the green light for Tuesday's game."