GLENDALE - The Arizona Coyotes certainly didn't hand Carey Price his 300th career victory on Thursday night. The veteran goaltender had to earn it.
And, that's exactly what he did.
Price turned aside 36 shots to lead the Canadiens to a 2-1 win at Gila River Arena, helping the Habs snap a two-game losing streak in the process.
He also became just the second goaltender in franchise history to reach the milestone, joining Hall-of-Famer Jacques Plante, who boasts 314 career wins on his resume.
"I'm very proud. It's been a long road to this point," said Price, after upping his record to 10-1-0 in 11 career outings against Arizona. "And, it's not over yet. You know what I mean?"
Video: MTL@ARI: Price makes brilliant pad save on Garland
Rick Tocchet's squad tested Price to the tune of 14 shots in the first period, 15 in the second and eight more in the third. Only Oliver Ekman-Larsson managed to solve him, lighting the lamp on the power play.
"I thought he stood on his head," praised head coach Claude Julien. "Some of those saves he made were vintage Carey Price that everybody got used to. It's nice to see those kinds of games."
As for the game puck, it will soon take its rightful place alongside some of the other special items Price has collected via his remarkable achievements over the years.
"The team does a really good job with that type of stuff," said Price, referencing the souvenirs the Canadiens typically have constructed to mark player milestones. "They make a little stand for it and it will go in my basement."
It remains to be seen if Price will make his sixth consecutive start on Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas, but the 12-year NHL veteran is feeling "pretty good" about the state of his game right now, and fatigue doesn't seem to be an issue at all through five consecutive starts.
"I'm just trying to keep that compete level where it needs to be," explained Price. "And, let the cards fall where they may. We're going to Vegas, so…"
Way to go, Max!
Thursday night's game ended up being significant for Price, but it was especially meaningful for Max Domi, who returned to his former hockey home for the first time since being acquired by the Canadiens over the summer.
The 23-year-old centerman was thrilled to leave Gila River Arena with a hard-fought win over the Coyotes.
"That was fun. There are so many memories here," said Domi, who valued his time in the Valley of the Sun. "It was weird. It was emotional, but I was only here for three years. It felt like 20, so it was cool to see my teammates out there."
Domi was honored on two separate occasions on the jumbotron and received a warm applause from the Coyotes' faithful. That meant a lot to him.
"It's an honor. Anytime you get to be a part of any NHL franchise, it's special. I wouldn't want it any different, to come into the League and start with these guys," shared Domi. "From top to bottom, the training staff, the teammates I had, the coaching staff, management, fan base, everyone, it was a lot of fun to play here. I really enjoyed it."
What made the tilt even more special for Domi, though, was the fact that it culminated in a historic win for his goaltender.
"I'm really happy for Pricey. That was a big milestone for him and not many guys can say they've accomplished that. He's the best goalie in the world, by far," praised Domi. "We're really lucky to have him."
Looking at the scoresheet
The Canadiens' goals on Thursday night came courtesy of captain Shea Weber and Paul Byron, who scored what proved to be the game-winner just 1:16 into the third period.
Video: MTL@ARI: Byron taps puck past Kuemper
Weber's goal came on the power play, as the Canadiens' man advantage clicked for the second consecutive game.
Jeff Petry collected the primary helper on Weber's tally, hitting the 20-assist plateau for a third consecutive season and the fourth time in his career.
Video: MTL@ARI: Weber unleashes blast on power play
Jonathan Drouin picked up the other assist to hit the 30-point mark for a third straight campaign and the fourth time in his career as well.