Goaltender Jeff Hackett will be sidelined indefinitely after dislocating his left shoulder in Saturday night's 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
The injury occurred just 13 seconds into the first period when Hackett strayed from his net to play the puck and collided with Buffalo right wing J.P. Dumont, a Montreal native.
"There's no way that Jeff Hackett should have been bumped by Dumont," Canadiens center Doug Gilmour said. "When the goalie's out of the net like that, you don't hit him. It should have been a penalty."
After a visit to a hospital, Hackett watched the final five minutes of the third period behind the Canadiens' bench in street clothes, his left arm in a sling. He did not meet the media after the game.
"Jeff Hackett will be a huge loss for us," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien. "It hurts to lose a goalie like that because he's been off to such a great start."
Hackett, 33, is 3
Mathieu Garon, who was 4-5-1 with a 2.44 GAA as a rookie last season, is expected to be recalled from the American Hockey League later this week.
Beset by a rash of injuries, the Canadiens have missed the playoffs each of the last three seasons.