MONTREAL - The Canadiens certainly generated their fair share of scoring chances on Saturday night, but Corey Crawford wasn't in a giving mood.
The Blackhawks' starter turned aside all 48 shots he faced in a 2-0 triumph at the Bell Centre, handing the Habs another big loss in the process.
Claude Julien's troops peppered the two-time Stanley Cup champion with 13 shots in the first period, 17 shots in the middle frame and 18 more shots in the final stanza.
It marked the fifth time this season that the Canadiens failed to find the back of the net.
"It's just one of those nights where you just couldn't put one past the goal line. It's frustrating right now because every game is so huge. I thought we had a 60-minute effort where everyone was going, everyone was moving. We just couldn't get one past him tonight," said forward Jordan Weal, regarding Crawford's standout performance between the pipes. "I don't know how much more urgent you can get. We were throwing everything at him and the kitchen sink. I thought everyone came to play. It's just hard to explain sometimes."
Video: MTL Recap: Price honored, stops 22 shots in 2-0 loss
For their part, the Blackhawks put just 24 shots on Carey Price. Goals by Connor Murphy and Brendan Perlini were enough to earn Chicago its fifth straight victory.
"The timing just isn't good for us to struggle right now," said Julien, following the Habs' second straight defeat. "The effort is there. The caring is there. The only thing missing right now is our game to be at its best. It's just not there."
That included failing to click on four power play opportunities during the contest, which didn't help the Canadiens' cause.
"We were prepared for this game, but it still sucks to let this one go," said forward Artturi Lehkonen, who came close to solving Crawford on a couple of occasions, but to no avail. "We've got to learn from our mistakes in this game and be better next game."
In order to do that, Julien's charges can't let their frustration get the best of them with just 10 games left on the schedule.
"It's desperation time. It's all about trying to keep that positive attitude, and negativity isn't going to help us at all, neither is feeling sorry for ourselves," explained Price. "It's pretty easy to get up on Sunday and rest, and then come back to work on Monday. You've got to keep driving."
You'd have to think that a similar effort against the Flyers on Tuesday night in Philadelphia would undoubtedly yield a better result, provided they can score, of course.
"We were hitting posts, we were hitting crossbars, we were millimeters away," said Weal. "If we play like that next game and here on out, we're going to give ourselves a good chance to win."
Looking back at a special ceremony
Price was honored during a pre-game ceremony after becoming the winningest goaltender in franchise history, surpassing Hall of Famer Jacques Plante.
Having his loved ones on-site to celebrate the accomplishment meant the world to him.
"It was great to share the moment with my family," said Price. "Obviously, I'm very happy that they came and for them to be a part of that was special to me."
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