MONTREAL – The Habs snap the Rangers’ streak and Price starts one of his own, logging 132 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal.
The Habs didn’t just end the Rangers seven-game win streak Saturday night – they ended it in style. Bouncing back in spectacular fashion after dropping a game they felt they should have won against the Islanders, the Canadiens log their second 4-0 shutout in three games.
“It’s a great feeling, but in the end, it’s really just a reflection of our team play. Seventeen shots on goal… that’s just excellent team play,” praised Price of the great defensive effort offered up by his teammates. “The guys did an excellent job of not giving up a lot of opportunities. I think you can count all of their scoring chances tonight on one hand. It’s tough sometimes not to deal with a lot shots, but as long you you’re able to stop the ones you get, it’s great.”
Earning his 14th career shutout before a deafening Saturday night Bell Centre crowd, Price becomes the most recent Habs netminder to record back-to-back blankings since 2009-10 when Jaroslav Halak shutout the Flyers and Sabres on the 2nd and 3rd of April.
“I thought all our guys played like veterans tonight, continued Price who has stopped the last 47 pieces of rubber thrown his way and earned the night’s third star. “The younger guys are following the examples of the leaders on this team and that’s what’s helping to make us successful right now and helping everyone feel comfortable.
“Tonight we did what we wanted to do. After blowing that 2-0 lead against Buffalo, we realized we can’t just sit back on it, we got our forecheck going tonight and just kept a lot of pressure in their end.”
A big part of that offensive pressure came from the contributions of Brian Gionta. The Canadiens captain nabbed two goals along with first-star honors on the night thanks to some picture perfect passes from ex-Ranger Scott Gomez.
“He made some big saves for us in key moments, especially an important few at the beginning of the game. Right off the bat, on the first or the second sequence he made a huge save for us,” said Gionta who finished his night a plus-two and shared team lead in shots with Michael Cammalleri, with 5 apiece. “Carey is one of the pillars of this team. That said, I also think we did a great job of keeping them out of our zone and in theirs tonight.”
Rounding out the rout’s three-star selection was Erik Cole who grabbed a pair of power play points against the New York squad, as well as the evening’s second star.
“I think we did a better job of getting pucks deep. We limited our turnovers and didn’t create offense for them. When we did make a mistake with the puck, we had guys coming back hard, letting out D stand up and do a great job,” pointed out Cole. “There were some moments that they had a few pretty good pushes, but Carey stood his ground for us and really battled some pucks out.”
The Habs will get the chance to end the NHL’s other longest winning streak when the Bruins bring their eight straight victories with them into the Bell Centre, Monday night.
Justin Fragapane writes for canadiens.com.
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