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One and counting

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Carey Price became the fifth goalie in team history to earn his first win before turning 21.

MONTREAL – By emerging victorious from his first taste of NHL action, Carey Price wasted no time picking up his first win, and he did it in almost club-record time.

With the spotlight shining brightly against his yet to be customized, plain white mask , Price was one cool customer as he stared down the high-flying Penguins in a 3-2 Canadiens win on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

The Habs' goaltending sensation quickly showed he was up to the task. Less than a minute into the game, Price claimed his first NHL victim: Mark Recchi. With the Penguins forward parked right on his doorstep, Price stoned Recchi following a nice set-up by Sidney Crosby.

In addition to kicking aside 26-of-28 Penguins shots, Price can also feel good about stopping all six of Crosby’s shots on the night.

At age 20 and 55 days, Price became the third-youngest goalie in Canadiens history to win an NHL game. Only Patrick Roy and Jose Theodore earned victories at a younger age. Despite being only 19 years and 141 days old, Roy picked up the first of his league-record 551 victories on Feb. 23, 1985, when he played the third period in what proved to be a 5-3 win over the Jets in Winnipeg.

Theodore, on the other hand, edged out Price by a mere 24 hours by notching his first NHL win on Nov. 6, 1996 in a 6-5 victory over the Mighty Ducks in Anaheim at age 20 and 54 days.

Only two other goalies in club history have managed to pick up their first NHL victories before turning 21. Jocelyn Thibault (20 years and 334 days) downed the Jets on Dec. 12, 1995 while little-known Andre Binette (20 years and 344 days) earned a win in relief of an injured Jacques Plante on November 11, 1954 in a 7-4 victory over the Blackhawks. Binette would end up never playing another NHL game, retiring with a perfect 1-0 record.

Manny Almela is a writer for
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