Carey Price has taken a big step closer to returning to the Montreal Canadiens line-up.
Price took part in a full practice with his teammates on Friday ahead of the team's Saturday night contest against the Ottawa Senators.
TSN's John Lu reported from Canadiens practice Friday that Price was getting engaged physically, participating in short ice battle drills. He was knocked down in the crease twice - first by Rene Bourque, then by Brendan Gallagher - who received a shot from Price afterward.
Price began practice splitting a net with Dustin Tokarski, who was called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League in his absence. Tokarski was moved to the other goal, splitting time with Peter Budaj mid-way through Friday's practice.
Coach Michel Therrien would not tip his hand as to whether he might play this weekend.
“He had a really good day today but from our standpoint, nothing has changed, he's still day-to-day and we'll see where he's at tomorrow,” Coach Michel Therrien said after practice.
“We're really pleased about the way he was capable to practice today.”
His teammates were similarly impressed with their netminder's compete level on Friday.
"I think he's trying to push it a little more," Gallagher told Lu after practice. "He looks as quick and powerful as he's always been."
P.K. Subban was also happy to see Price getting back up to speed after the injury.
"I'm not a doctor or anything, but I do know that it's a good sign when he's in practice and he's competing like that," he told TSN after practice.
The 26-year-old netminder is yet to appear in a game for the Canadiens since returning from the Sochi Olympics. He exited his first practice with the Canadiens after aggravating an injury in his right leg.
He has missed the Canadiens' last eight games, with the team going 3-4-1 over that stretch. His last appearance for the Canadiens was a 4-1 win in the team's pre-Olympic finale against the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 8.
Price went 5-0 with a staggering 0.59 goals-against average and a .972 save percentage with the Canadian team at Sochi.