Leading 2-1 after 40 minutes, the Montreal Canadiens scored three unanswered goals in the third period to earn their third consecutive victory, pull into sole possession of top spot in the NHL standings and halt the New York Rangers' home winning streak at nine games (their longest such streak since 1971-72).
* At 17-4-2 (36 points), the Canadiens lead the League in wins (tied w/ DAL) and points. The victory propelled them ahead of the Rangers (16-4-2, 34 points) and idle Stars (17-5-0, 34 points), who share second place in terms of points.
* Carey Price made 22 saves before being replaced by Mike Condon (11 SV) to start the third period. Price earned the decision to improve to 12-5-1 in 19 career regular-season appearances against the Rangers (1.74 GAA, .943 SV%, 7 SO).
ST. PAUL, Minn. --Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise returned to practice Thursday for the first time since injuring his right knee Nov. 5 and could be back in the lineup as soon as Friday against the Winnipeg Jets at Xcel Energy Center.
"I don't know yet, we'll see how it responds," Parise said. "But I felt good and I felt comfortable doing everything."
Parise was injured in a collision with Nashville Predators forward James Neal. He was diagnosed with a sprained MCL in his right knee two days later and was originally expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford has won the Stanley Cup twice and won 30 games in each of the past four full NHL seasons, and he's gotten those wins despite not playing in more than 59 games. That means you can expect his backup, Scott Darling, to get between 20-25 starts.
Crawford's numbers aren't up to his standards; his 2.57 goals-against average and .912 save percentage are less than his career averages of 2.35 and .916, respectively. He made 27 saves in a 5-2 win against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, but Darling has started two of the past five games and likely will start once this weekend with Chicago having back-to-back games at the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.
As Darling showed last season, he's more than capable of coming up big when it matters. Darling was 3-1-0 with a 2.21 GAA and a .936 save percentage in helping the Chicago Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup last season. This was after he went 9-4-0 with a 1.99 GAA and a .936 save percentage in 14 starts during the regular season.
Introducing the new official NHL App, available for iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones and tablets. A host of new features and improved functionality are available across all platforms, including a redesigned league-wide scoreboard, expanded news coverage, searchable video highlights, individual team experiences* and more. The new NHL App on your tablet also introduces new offerings such as 60fps video, Multitasking** and Picture-in-Picture.
*Available only for smartphones
** Available only for suported iPads