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Canadiens confirm defenceman Andrei Markov returns to Montreal for treatment

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Canadiens confirmed Saturday that star defenceman Andrei Markov has returned to Montreal to receive treatment for an injury suffered Friday night in a Game 1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Markov was hurt just past the 11-minute mark of the first period when he was checked cleanly into the boards by Penguins agitator Matt Cooke. Markov fell awkwardly, threw one of his gloves into the air and writhed in pain on the ice as some of his teammates went after Cooke at centre ice.

Markov stayed down for several minutes before being helped off the ice, putting no weight on his right leg as he left.

The Canadiens have not played very well without their No. 1 defenceman this season, posting a 14-20-3 record in the games he?s missed. With Markov in the lineup the Canadiens are a very respectable 29-17-7, including the playoffs.

The Canadiens have been without top-four defenceman Jaroslav Spacek since Game 4 of the first round due to an undisclosed illness. Spacek skated again Saturday but the Canadiens said he is ruled out for Game 2 of the Penguins series on Sunday.

That means both Marc-Andre Bergeron and P.K. Subban will play as defencemen, while one of Sergei Kostitsyn or Mathieu Darche will be inserted into the lineup at forward.

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