Carey Price stopped all 27 Toronto shots for his sixth shutout of the season and the Canadiens beat the Maple Leafs 3-0 at the Bell Centre Saturday night. Price has back-to-back shutouts against the Leafs and has not allowed a Toronto goal in 138 minutes and 24 seconds dating back to the opening game of the season October 7th.. 

David Desharnais had a goal and an assist to lead the Canadiens. Brian Gionta and Benoit Pouliot scored the others.  Desharnais, the game’s first star, has two goals, 4 assists his last three games. 

With the win the Canadiens move into a points tie with the Washington Capitals. The Capitals remain in fifth place in the Eastern Conference by virtue of the game in hand they hold over the Canadiens. The win also pulled the Canadiens to within a point of the Boston Bruins again. Boston holds two games in hand.

Max Pacioretty, who extended his points streak to four games, left the game in the third period with what appeared to be a wrist injury after he was checked into the boards by the Leafs Luke Schenn.  The seriousness of the injury will be determined by Monday.

Summing It Up – In a rare moment of dressing room candor, Benoit Pouliot expressed surprised at how little pushback the Leafs gave the Canadiens, especially after the Canadiens scored the first goal ten minutes into the second period. That might be the story of the game. Certainly Carey Price has had more difficult nights.

For the first time in a couple of weeks, the Canadiens put out a complete effort. At the end of the night the spotlight shone on the Desharnais-Pouliot-White line.

It is said that a player has to dominate in the minor leagues before earning promotion to the NHL. There’s no question of where Desharnais stood in Hamilton. When he was promoted he was leading the American Hockey League in scoring. In his absence, the Hamilton Bulldogs have lost six of their last seven games. But there has always been that question of his size. In Desharnais’ case, size has no bearing on his ability to contribute. Off what we’ve seen the last week, Desharnais ican be a brilliant playmaker who will not be intimidated. He’s already establishing himself as the team’s best faceoff man. Against Toronto, he was 12 for 16. The last two games he’s 22 and 8 in the faceoff circle. And, like Tomas Plekanec, Desharnais has that ability to make those around him better. For the second straight game, Benoit Pouliot was a presence and Ryan White seems to have suddenly found some offensive thrust to go with his reputation as an energy type forward.

The Leafs weren’t much in this game, so it’s dangerous to be over enthusiastic about some to the Canadiens performances. Still, Roman Hamrlik had maybe his best game in a month. He played most of the night with Wisniewski. Spacek was good again with Subban. Up front, it was the usual suspects. Tomas Plekanec had a big night along with Brian Gionta and Pacioretty. Andrei Kostitsyn seems to be getting his act back together. Scott Gomez looked better than he did against the Islanders and Bruins, although there’s still room for improvement. His pass to Desharnais for the Canadiens third goal was perfection.

Nice all round effort against a team that seemed to have little interest in competing after the first period.

The Goalscorers – Montreal – Pouliot (12th) (Desharnais-Hamrlik); Gionta (21st) (Pacioretty); Desharnais (5th) PPG (Gomez-Hamrlik) Toronto – none.

Shots On Goal – Toronto 11-7-9 = 27 Canadiens – 15-12-12 = 39

The Fan’s Three Stars – First – David Desharnais (1g, 1ass – plus 1 – won 12 of 16 faceoffs) Second – Carey Price (stopped all 27 shots for the shutout); Third – Benoit Pouliot (1 goal, plus 1, five shots on goal)

The Fenwick/Corsi Numbers

Game Number Team Player Number Goals Saved shots Missed Shots Fenwick+/- Blocked Shots Corsi+/-
20831 MTL 6 – D – SPACEK, JAROSLAV 1 0 8 5 2 4 2 7 6 3
20831 MTL 11 – C – GOMEZ, SCOTT 0 0 6 6 1 2 -1 1 4 -4
20831 MTL 14 – C – PLEKANEC, TOMAS 1 0 4 4 4 2 3 4 3 4
20831 MTL 15 – C – HALPERN, JEFF 0 0 2 5 1 0 -2 1 1 -2
20831 MTL 20 – D – WISNIEWSKI, JAMES 1 0 9 7 4 0 7 3 2 8
20831 MTL 21 – R – GIONTA, BRIAN 1 0 8 4 2 1 6 4 4 6
20831 MTL 31 – G – PRICE, CAREY 2 0 24 17 7 4 12 14 10 16
20831 MTL 32 – L – MOEN, TRAVIS 0 0 6 5 2 2 1 1 3 -1
20831 MTL 44 – D – HAMRLIK, ROMAN 1 0 8 7 3 1 4 3 4 3
20831 MTL 45 – D – PICARD, ALEXANDRE 0 0 9 4 2 0 7 5 0 12
20831 MTL 46 – L – KOSTITSYN, ANDREI 0 0 7 7 3 3 0 1 4 -3
20831 MTL 53 – C – WHITE, RYAN 1 0 8 3 1 0 7 5 3 9
20831 MTL 57 – L – POULIOT, BENOIT 1 0 9 4 1 0 7 7 3 11
20831 MTL 58 – C – DESHARNAIS, DAVID 1 0 12 2 1 0 12 8 2 18
20831 MTL 67 – L – PACIORETTY, MAX 1 0 6 3 3 1 6 5 3 8
20831 MTL 68 – D – WEBER, YANNICK 0 0 6 3 1 0 4 3 0 7
20831 MTL 76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K. 1 0 8 8 2 3 0 7 8 -1
20831 MTL 81 – C – ELLER, LARS 0 0 3 6 1 0 -2 4 0 2
20831 MTL 94 – C – PYATT, TOM 0 0 1 2 1 1 -1 1 0 0