Price Brilliant in 42 Save Shutout of Canucks
For the second straight game, the Habs stole a game that they had no business winning. Following a 2-1 win over the Leafs on Saturday, Montreal stole one from the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 on Wednesday. It can be safely said that Habs goalie Carey Price is responsible for both of these wins. Montreal was outshot 42-21, but Price’s spectacular play kept the Canucks from getting any momentum. The win is Price’s 6th of the year, and his first shutout since returning form injury. He now has 37 career shutouts, 7th on the list of active NHL goalies.
Price’s brilliant play was helped by the continued success of the Montreal offense. Nathan Beaulieu had the winning goal for the Habs, while Torrey Mitchell and Alexander Radulov also tallied for Montreal, who are now 9-0-1 to start the season. The Habs were badly outplayed in the first half of the game, being outshot 24-3 by the midway point. Beaulieu’s goal sparked the Habs, who played a more even second half to squeeze out the win.
A Tale of Two Offenses for Habs and Canucks
While the Habs offense is surging early in this NHL season, the Canucks are faltering. The loss was Vancouver’s 6th straight and comes after starting the year 4-0-0. Vancouver is being outscored 27-17 so far, tied with Los Angeles for the worse goal differential in the league. This has the ‘Nucks sitting in 4th place in the Pacific Division behind Edmonton, San Jose, and Anaheim.
The offensive story in Montreal is quite different. Montreal is outscoring their opponents 34-14 this year, giving them the highest goal differential in the league. The Habs sit atop the NHL standings with 19 points, 4 ahead of the second place Oilers and 6 ahead of division rivals, the Detroit Red Wings. The win on Wednesday was redemption of sorts for the Habs who started last season 9-0-0 before losing in Vancouver to start a road-trip that resulted in Price’s season ending injury against the Oilers.
Next Up for Montreal, The Blue Jackets
With the Canucks behind them, the Habs now look forward to Friday night when they travel to Ohio to face the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus is 4-3-1 so far this year and sits 6th in the Metropolitan Division. For Montreal the game opens the question of who will get the start on Friday. Price coming off the shutout definitely has momentum, but with the Flyers looming on Saturday, Habs coaching may elect to give him the night off in favour of Al Montoya. Price is no stranger to playing on back-to-back nights, and with 3 days off already this week, he may be good to start both. Friday’s game starts at 7:00PM EST.
The Habs Reports is Once Again Brought to You By Breakninja, the Best Site Online