As the Montreal Canadiens look to keep hold of their playoff positioning for the last weeks of the regular season, they'll have to do it without forward Brandon Prust. The Habs announced Friday the tough forward will be out for the balance of the regular season with an upper-body injury.
Prust, who has had a history of shoulder problems, briefly left Montreal's game against the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday. He did return to game action later that game, but did not play against the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday.
The veteran forward may not be a productive player for the Habs, but he fills an important role in the team's bottom six while averaging about 13 minutes a night. The 30-year-old winger has 13 points in 52 games and 121 penalty minutes to go along with 92 hits. He's a serviceable tough guy, which can help in those tight-checking contests this time of year as teams jockey for postseason positioning.
Should Prust's injury persist beyond the regular season, it is definite knock on Montreal's depth up front and a moderately concerning one.
The Habs are currently in third place in the Atlantic Division, holding a three-point advantage over the Maple Leafs, while trailing the Lightning for second by two points with 11 games remaining in the regular season.