MONTREAL - Carey Price wasn't about to let the Blue Jackets keep on rolling on Monday night.
Instead, the All-World netminder stymied John Tortorella's squad time and again during a sparkling 37-save performance that helped pace the Canadiens to a 3-1 win at the Bell Centre.
That put an end to Columbus' six-game winning streak and also marked the second straight victory for Price in between the pipes since returning to the lineup over the weekend.
Brendan Gallagher and Jonathan Drouin provided their goaltender with some early goal support, scoring on reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky on the Canadiens' first two shots of the game.
Then, Price took care of business the rest of the way - to the delight of his teammates, of course.
"He's so composed. You never really see him panicking. They tried to do everything they could. They threw a lot of pucks, a lot of bodies. They got a lot of big boys to try and get in his eyes and in his face, but it never really fazed him at all," praised Gallagher, whose 10th goal of the season also represented the 200th point of his NHL career. "It's definitely nice to play in front of."
Video: Gallagher, Price lead Canadiens past Jackets, 3-1
Price was particularly dominant during the second period when the Canadiens got into penalty trouble. He faced 18 shots during that frame alone, conceding just one even-strength marker to Pierre-Luc Dubois in the latter stages of the stanza.
"He was unbelievable. We put him in a terrible spot there in the second. We took too many penalties, obviously, but he was outstanding. He battled for us, competed for us. It's great to have him back," said Andrew Shaw, who capped the scoring on Monday night with a historic empty-netter that represented the 12,000th goal on home ice in franchise history. "He's healthy. He's hungry. He's excited. He's been our best player, for sure, the last two games."
Video: CBJ@MTL: Price makes pair of saves on Jenner
It's hard to argue with that, with Price having given up just one goal on 74 shots against during that span following a 10-game absence to recover from a minor lower-body injury.
It goes without saying that managing to put a pair of pucks past Bobrovsky just over eight minutes into the game was also an important key to victory.
"That was big for us. You look at how this team has been having success. The biggest part of it has probably been him. For us to get a couple by him early, we knew it wasn't going to be easy," said Gallagher, following the Canadiens' 10th win of the season. "The rest of the way, he made some pretty big saves on us as well. We got a couple by him and we were able to defend as good as we could and Pricey was back there to make a couple of big saves."
Having earned five out of a possible six points over their last three games, it's safe to say the Canadiens are trending in the right direction. But, there's still plenty of work to be done - and it all starts with giving Price some consistent support.
Video: CBJ@MTL: Price makes back-to-back saves on Dubinsky
"It's pretty huge [to earn those points]. We have to keep this going, though. We've dug ourselves a big hole, so every game matters," insisted Shaw. "I think we're still relying on Carey too much. We've got to be playing better in front of him. But, we know he's got our back."