Price stopped all 35 shots, including 20 in the third period for his secpmd shutout of the season and the sixth of his career. The Canucks had a six game winning streak ended in the first of a five game 10-day road trip. The other Canadiens goal was scored by Roman Hamrlik during a third-period power play.
After 15 games the Canadiens have a 9-5-1 record for first place in the Northeast division and third in the Eastern Conference. They play the Bruins in Boston on Thursday night.
How It Went
The First Period
Setting the Tone – 14 seconds into the game P.K. Subban leveled Canucks forward Raffi Torres with a heavy check along the half boards in Canadiens territory.
Price Starts His Night – At 2:59 on a Canucks 2-on-1 break Price stops defenseman Christian Ehrhoff.
First Blood – At 6:53 Tomas Plekanec broke down the right boards and fed the puck in front for Brian Gionta. At the goalmouth Gionta got a shot away and then fanned on the rebound. The puck came to Andrei Markov who had moved in from the point. Markov’s first goal of the season was a ten foot wrist shot. 1-0 Canadiens.
Pushing Forward – Third seconds later, with the Canadiens fourth line on the ice Travis Moen let a thirty footer go that got behind Roberto Luongo and created a goalmouth scramble with Tom Pyatt at the crease. Luongo just managed to cover. Canadiens were outshooting Vancouver 6-3.
Oddity – Tomas Plekanec, while killing a tripping penalty called on Jaroslav Spacek, hoisted the puck high the length of the ice. The puck hit the netting behind Roberto Luongo. Plekanec was called for delay of game. Through the back to back penalties Vancouver managed two harmless shots. End of the first period – Montreal-1 Vancouver-0. Shots on goal 10-6 Montreal.
The Second Period
Those Old PP Blues – At 2:21 Andrew Alberts mugged Mathieu Darche and was given a four minute penalty for highsticking. The Canadiens power play was embarrassing. As Canadiens fans booed the effort, the Canadiens gave up an early 2-on-1 break and seconds later gave up another shot. Over the four minutes the Canadiens had one harmless shot on goal (by Subban) while Vancouver took two on Price.
More from Carey – at 8:29 Christian Ehrhoff let a hard 50 foot slapshot go through a screen. Price got a piece of it, but had to reach behind him to cover the puck in the crease. Four minutes later he made a pad save and covered a Dan Hamhuis shot with Mikael Samuelsson looking for the rebound.
The PK Shines. The Canadiens picked up penalties late in the second period, first to Lapierre for holding Edler in the offensive zone. The only shot Vancouver could muster came from outside the blueline. Mathieu Darche was hit with a charging penalty with 22 seconds left in the period. In the carryover penalty Vancouver managed one more shot.
The Drought Ends – Andrew Alberts got his second penalty of the game for clearing the puck over the glass at 2:42. With three seconds left in the power play Michael Cammalleri rifled a hard shot that was partially blocked but caromed off the back boards right to the pinching Roman Hamrlik who’s slapshot gave no chance for Luongo. Power play goal, the first in almost 347 minutes of playing time and 17 power play opportunities.. 2-0 Canadiens.
Bar the Door – In the final 15:21 of the game, Vancouver outshot the Canadiens 18-6. For the most part shots came from the perimeter. Still, Price had to be very good on a Daniel Sedin breakaway at 8:06; and aan Alexander Edler slapshot less than a minute later.
The Extra Attacker – With 2:25 remaining Roberto Luongo was pulled for the extra attacker. Twice Maxim Lapierre had shots at the empty net and missed. With the extra attacker the Canucks took six shots at Price, all of them requiring routine saves with the exception of a Ryan Kesler wristshot at 17:51.
Going for the Goal – With five seconds left, Price made a save on Edler, stepped out of the crease and cleared the puck high in the air towards the Vancouver goal. Not high enough or far enough. It was knocked out of the air at the Vancouver goalline. Game over. Final score 2-0 Canadiens. Final shots on goal 35-29 for Vancouver including 20-10 in the third period.
Summing It Up – The positive side of this game was the way the Canadiens played with the lead. They got it early and they kept the scoring chances down. Just the way Jacques Martin likes it. It was a very good night for the defence pairing of Roman Hamrlik and Jaroslav Spacek. For Spacek, who has been under fire recently, probably his best game of the season. There were times when I wished we would see more of Lars Eller, who was having a pretty good night on a line with Tom Pyatt and Travis Moen. Big night for Plekanec and Gionta. Not so great for Cammalleri on the leftside of the line until the third period when he finally got things in gear. Price was outstanding. Scott Gomez didn’t accomplish much except in the faceoff circle where he completely dominated Ryan Kesler and won 9 of 12 for 75%. Plekanec won 8 of 10 faceoffs against Henrik Sedin. And indication of the way the Canadiens controlled their own end; they blocked 21 shots to 11 for Vancouver. They recorded 10 takeaways to just 4 for Vancouver. Nice win against a team that came in riding high. Next up – another test – the Bruins in Boston.
The Game Highlights
The Goalscorers – Montreal – Markov (1st) (Gionta-Plekanec); Hamrlik (1st) PPG (Cammalleri-Spacek). Vancouver – None
Shots on Goal – Vancouver – 6-9-20 = 35 Montreal – 10-9-10 = 29
The Three Stars – First – Carey Price (shutout – 35 saves) Second – Andrei Markov (game winning goal – 2 shots) Third – Tomas Plekanec (1 assist – 4 shots – 4 takeaways)