Thursday, November 5, 2009

Price denied shutout as Habs beat Bruins in a shootout

price-carey091105 Carey Price gets his first win in over a month – Canadian Press photo

Well it only took ten games, but the Canadiens finally beat the Bruins.

The Canadiens infirmary is full of injured defensemen and the Bruins’ forwards are the walking wounded in Boston. So we can safely say it was an even slate going into Thursday’s game, right?

Regardless, Montreal got a stellar performance out of Carey Price, who came within 52 seconds of recording his first shutout in over a year.

Carey Price made 42 saves, and shut the Bruins down in the shootout, give his team to a 2-1 victory.

Price picked up his 50th career win and his emotion after the shootout was a promising sign.

What makes it a bigger boost was that he was not expected to start Thursday night. Jaroslav Halak is nursing an apparent groin injury and was not 100 percent.

In the 700th meeting between the two rivals, the Bruins were the dominant team, outshooting the Canadiens in all three periods and the overtime period.

Boston also played a more physical game out hitting Montreal 35-23.

ALeqM5hW65qzd3IgAACUup9cAto0thLHvg Blake Wheeler upends Max Pacioretty – Associated Press photo

If there was anyone else who had a good pick-me-up on Thursday night, it was Andrei Kostitsyn.

Playing on the fourth line with eager first-gamers Tom Pyatt and Ryan White, Kostitsyn seemed to show some life.

AK46 was the catalyst in the first goal of the night, when he zipped down the left wing and fed a wrap-around pass to Glen Metropolit to fired it past Tim Thomas.

White recorded his first career point with an assist on the goal and had four hits on the night.

Habs-vs-Bruins02.thumbnail Metropolit scores the Canadiens only goal – Reuters photo

With Bruins captain Zdeno Chara in the penalty box, the Canadiens had an excellent opportunity to add to the lead with a 5-on-3 advantage.

The Bruins penalty killers gave the Canadiens few opportunities and Thomas made a spectacular stick save on the goal line to deny the Habs their second goal.

It appeared Patrice Bergeron had tied it up for the Bruins when the puck appeared to squeeze between Price’s pad and the goal post.

Habs-vs-Bruins13_0.thumbnail Price argues the eventual disallowed goal –Reuters photo

The goal was disallowed after video review showed the puck went under the side of the jarred net.

With Thomas on the bench, Bergeron finally managed to figure out Price in the third period after finding a loose puck in front of a screened Montreal net.

It was the Bruins first goal in over 192 minutes of play. Boston  had been shutout in their last two games.

“At least it's out of our heads now,” Bergeron said. “It's one step forward to get that goal and get that point. But one point is not good enough.”

Price got some revenge on Bergeron,in the overtime, with a huge glove save on the Bruins Habs-killer.

“I hadn't won in six games, and that was not the time to get upset,” Price said. “It’s hard to get scored on in the last minute of a game. I had to refocus in a hurry because if I let it slip, then I lose another game.”

“I really need to build on this,” he added. “But it’s not time to get out the champagne and goggles yet.”

cam_79721Mike Cammalleri celebrates his shootout goal - Canadian Press photo

With no result in overtime, Mike Cammalleri managed to beat Thomas for the only goal in the shootout.

recchi110509 Price stops Mark Recchi in the shootout – Boston Globe photo

The win was the first on the road for the Canadiens since October 3.

They remain unbeaten in overtime/shootout games (7-0), and are 6-1 when scoring the first goal of the night.

Maybe the most significant stat of the night for Montreal was the fact that they had just a single giveaway all night. An area of their game that they have struggled with all season.

Jaroslav Spacek left the game briefly after a Bruins player landed on him and crashed into the boards. The veteran blueliner still racked up just under 25 minutes of ice-time and may have a therapy day on Friday.

The Canadiens head back to Montreal to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Three Stars: 1. Mike Cammalleri 2.Carey Price 3.Tim Thomas

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