NEW YORK - Desperate to get back on the winning track, Claude Julien's contingent came away with a massive victory on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Paul Byron's tally in the fifth round of the shootout lifted the Canadiens to a 3-2 triumph over the New York Rangers, snapping a three-game losing streak in the process and giving Julien his first win behind the bench since assuming the role of head coach last week.
Video: Price, Byron lead Habs to 3-2 SO win
Having come out on the wrong side of the scoresheet in seven of their previous eight contests, it's safe to say that leaving Manhattan with anything but a W would have easily been considered a bitter disappointment.
Fortunately, it all worked out for the best and the Canadiens are hopeful things are now primed to take a turn for the better in the days and weeks to come.
"It's huge for everyone. We've been struggling for a while the past games, so it was huge for us to win. We knew it wasn't going to be pretty. It was kind of a different group today than it was the past few games. That's good," said Alexander Radulov, who also beat Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist in the shootout. "We just have to continue to play the right way and it'll be good."
Playing the right way certainly means doing everything conceivably possible to lend a helping hand to goaltender Carey Price, who was brilliant all game long between the pipes, particularly when it came time to deny Rangers forward J.T. Miller of what looked like a sure goal in the latter stages of overtime.
"He played pretty well," cracked captain Max Pacioretty, on the subject of Price's 28-save performance, before sharing his thoughts on the All-World netminder's highlight-reel stop with time winding down in OT. "It wasn't bad. I've done that a couple of times in rug hockey, but at MSG, it's amazing the stuff he does."
Video: MTL@NYR: Price dives for remarkable late save in OT
Speaking of amazing, Price's 258th career victory officially tied him with Hall-of-Famer Ken Dryden for third spot on the franchise's all-time wins list among goaltenders - a feat that certainly wasn't lost on the Canadiens' No. 31.
"It's cool. I'm sure he probably did it in a little bit shorter time than I did," mentioned Price, who upped his record to 25-15-5 on the year in besting the Rangers on Broadway. "It's a cool thing, but it's just another milestone. You just have to try and get that next win."
In order to do just that, Price insists that the Canadiens have to keep going about their business in exactly the same way they did on Tuesday night, playing with the type of fire and grit that enabled them to hand one of the Eastern Conference's top teams their first loss in their own barn since January 31.
"We were desperate, for sure. We need to play that way for the rest of the season if we're going to find that consistency in our game. If we can give out efforts like that, it'll come," said Price, who is convinced wins of that nature can only yield positive results going forward. "It's a momentum-builder, for sure. Those are the types of games that make you feel good going home."
Video: Carey Price on his remarkable save in OT
Julien was definitely in agreement there, sharing similar thoughts before the Canadiens returned home to Montreal to begin preparing for their tilt against the New York Islanders on Thursday night at the Bell Centre.
"A win like that does a lot of good for everyone," praised Julien, who saw Andrew Shaw and Shea Weber light the lamp in regulation time during his 999th career game at the helm of an NHL club. "I liked our work ethic and we skated well. It wasn't a perfect game, but when you win in New York against a team that scores a lot of goals, it's always a big win."