In recording his third shutout in his last six games, Carey Price accomplished something a Montreal goaltender has been unable to do for the past thirty-three years. The last time the Toronto Maple Leafs were shutout in Montreal was November 12th, 1977. Ken Dryden was in goal that night.

Price stopped all thirty shots directed his way and benefitted from a superbly played defensive game on the part of his teammates.

Jeff Halpern scored a shorthanded goal midway through the second period and Michael Cammalleri scored on a third period power play.

The Canadiens reach the 20 game plateau in the schedule with a record of 13-6-1, leading the Northeast Division and holding down third place in the Eastern Conference. They play in Philadelphia Monday night.

Summing It Up – Carey Price has had tougher nights in the Canadiens nets this season. After an awful outing at home on Thursday the Habs bounced back in impressive fashion. They shutdown a Leafs team that had scored six power play goals during a two game winning streak. But Price remains the story in Montreal and perhaps in the entire NHL. In his last six starts he has recorded three shutouts; stopped 194 of 200 shots for a .970 save percentage and a 1.25 goals against average. Price was first star followed by the goalscorers, Jeff Halpern and Michael Cammalleri. Andrei Kostitsyn had an outstanding night although it didn’t show on the scoresheet. Same with Maxim Lapierre and Travis Moen plus Hal Gill and Roman Hamrlik on defence. In his post game news conference coach Jacques Martin mentioned how all four lines contributed on both ends of the ice. As for Price, he shares the league lead in games-played (19), shutouts (4)  and wins (12). His goals-against average is now 2.00 (3rd among regular goaltenders) and his save-percentage ranks 5th at .932. Funny how all of that Jaroslav Halak talk has disappeared. Even more so as we witness that game-by-game improvement of Lars Eller who was acquired from St. Louis for Halak.

How It Went

The First Period

The Mojo Was Back – After a terrible effort on Thursday against Nashville, any thoughts of a prolonged slump were dispelled early. The Canadiens took it to the Leafs from the opening puck drop. Plekanec coming off the left wing in the first minute. Newcomer Yannick Weber on a pass from Lars Eller in the fourth minute. Gionta fanned on a Plekanec pass at 5:30. Of the seven early shots, four were scoring chances.

Close Call – At 9:08 of the period Mike Komisarek let what appeared to a soft shots directed toward the net. It found it’s way past everyone and glanced off the outside of Carey Price’s right post.

The Penalty Kill – At 15:15 Roman Hamrlik was called for hooking Nikolai Kulemin. Shorthanded or not, the Canadiens dominated. Tomas Plekanec tipped a shot over top of the net. Jeff Halpern led a 2-on-1 rush that failed. Spacek had a shot at the Toronto net. Over the two minutes the Canadiens penalty killers outshot the Leafs power play 2-0.

Clang! – At 18:07 Andrei Kostitsyn rang a hard shot off the goalpost. Kostitsyn also had an excellent scoring chance in the final minute on a pass from Plekanec. End of the first period – 0-0. Shots on goal 17-10 for the Canadiens.

The Second Period

Price Goes to Work – Carey Price had to make excellent saves on Tyler Bozak and then Nazem Kadri around the eight minute mark of the period.

Shorthanded Again – Maxim Lapierre was sent off for unsportsmanlike conduct at 8:42 when he tangled with Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle. Nineteen seconds into the power play, Price made his save of the night off Kris Versteeg who was all alone in the slot. Price got his glove on it.

By The Book – Penalty killer Jeff Halpern won the faceoff in the Toronto end from Mikhail Grabovski. Tom Pyatt sent the puck back to Jaroslav Halak at the right point. Halpern headed for the net. Halak’s shot was deflected by Halpern from about fifteen feet. Shorthanded goal. Textbook. 1-0 Canadiens.

Shutdown Mode – In the final half of the period, Toronto could manage only four shots on Price. The Canadiens took only three themselves. End of the second period – Montreal-1 Toronto-0. Second period shots on goal 13-12 for Toronto.

The Third Period

The Power Play Strikes – At 5:58 of the period the Canadiens finally had a chance to try their power play when John Mitchell was called for high sticking Alexandre Picard. With three seconds left in the man advantage, Mike Komisarek under intense checking pressure from Andrei Kostitsyn, threw the puck in front of the Toronto net. You could almost see Michael Cammalleri’s eyes light up with the gift. He one-timed it past Jonas Gustavsson. Power play goal. 2-0 Montreal.

Getting The Shutout – Twenty-six seconds after Cammalleri’s unassisted goal, Josh Gorges was called for interference. The Leafs took three shots with the man advantage with the notable saves on Kadri and then off a goalmouth scramble, Kessel and Grabovski.

The Last Gasp – With 3:18 remaining Price had to get some help from Spacek and Plekanec after Kulemin let a short backhand go that wound up down in the crease. Price was flat on his back in the crease with the puck behind him when Plekanec tucked it under him.

Finishing It Off – Gustavsson came out for the extra attacker with 1:16 remaining. The Leafs failed to get a shot. Final score Montreal-2 Toronto-0.

The Goalscorers – Montreal Halpern ((5th) SHG (Spacek-Pyatt); Cammalleri ((6th) PPG (unassisted) Toronto – None

Shots on Goal – Toronto 10-13-7 = 30 Montreal 17-12-9 = 38

The Three Stars First-Carey Price (shutout – 30 saves) Second – Jeff Halpern (shorthand goal – 7 & 2 faceoffs 78%) Third – Michael Cammalleri (PPG – 3 shots on goal)

 

 THE GAME HIGHLIGHTS

 

The Fenwick/Corsi Numbers

Game Number Team Player Number Goals Saved shots Missed Shots Fenwick+/- Blocked Shots Corsi+/-
20285 MTL 6 – D – SPACEK, JAROSLAV 0 0 11 7 1 4 1 4 3 2
20285 MTL 11 – C – GOMEZ, SCOTT 0 0 7 13 2 5 -9 4 4 -9
20285 MTL 13 – L – CAMMALLERI, MICHAEL 0 0 8 13 2 4 -7 4 4 -7
20285 MTL 14 – C – PLEKANEC, TOMAS 0 0 14 8 4 3 7 7 4 10
20285 MTL 15 – C – HALPERN, JEFF 0 0 6 4 1 0 3 2 1 4
20285 MTL 21 – R – GIONTA, BRIAN 0 0 12 8 4 3 5 8 4 9
20285 MTL 26 – D – GORGES, JOSH 0 0 11 11 4 2 2 6 5 3
20285 MTL 31 – G – PRICE, CAREY 0 0 33 25 9 10 7 17 11 13
20285 MTL 32 – L – MOEN, TRAVIS 0 0 6 11 2 4 -7 3 3 -7
20285 MTL 40 – C – LAPIERRE, MAXIM 0 0 8 5 1 1 3 2 2 3
20285 MTL 44 – D – HAMRLIK, ROMAN 0 0 9 9 1 4 -3 4 3 -2
20285 MTL 45 – D – PICARD, ALEXANDRE 0 0 11 6 4 4 5 7 3 9
20285 MTL 46 – L – KOSTITSYN, ANDREI 0 0 13 8 4 3 6 9 3 12
20285 MTL 57 – L – POULIOT, BENOIT 0 0 6 5 1 1 1 2 1 2
20285 MTL 68 – D – WEBER, YANNICK 0 0 5 0 2 2 5 2 2 5
20285 MTL 75 – D – GILL, HAL 0 0 11 10 4 2 3 6 5 4
20285 MTL 76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K. 0 0 13 7 4 4 6 7 3 10
20285 MTL 81 – C – ELLER, LARS 0 0 8 0 2 2 8 4 3 9
20285 MTL 94 – C – PYATT, TOM 0 0 6 0 2 2 6 4 2 8