MONTREAL - Here are a few key storylines from Monday night's 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames at the Bell Centre.
Keep calm, win the third
After badly outplaying the Flames in a first period in which they led 17-7 in shots, the Habs held their 1-0 lead all the way into the third period. During the Canadiens' recent struggles, tight leads getting squandered had become a common theme and they were determined not to let that fad repeat itself against Calgary.
"I think we just stuck to the game plan. No one was panicking; there was no fumbling in the D zone. We were just solid with our plays - making the right play here, the right play there, and I think that we did that for the 20 minutes in the third," described Jordan Weal, who returned to the lineup to score his fifth of the season in the first period. "That's going to give us a lot of confidence moving forward."
Video: Jordan Weal on scoring in his return
Head coach Claude Julien shed some light on his team's mindset heading into the final frame.
"We approached the third period as if it were 0-0. It's been awhile since we've been that good in the first period, so we had to repeat that kind of period in the third," he explained. "We played a smart period, one that allowed us to get another goal and to win the game."
Playing in his sixth game for the Habs this season, winger Dale Weise noted the Canadiens will have to find a way to be consistently successful in tight games if they want to keep earning points in the standings.
"That one feels good. I think we have to see that's the way we have to win games. You see the way our team is built right now," shared Weise, whose assist on Weal's tally was his first NHL point of the season. "We have to grind out 1-0, 2-1 games. Pricey [Carey Price] obviously was unbelievable tonight, like he is every night. When we defend the way we did, and then we get some timely scoring from our third and fourth lines, we're going to win some games."
Video: Dale Weise on the win over the Flames
Another milestone for Carey
Speaking of Price, the All-World netminder made 31 saves to earn the 46th shutout of his career, moving him into a tie with Ken Dryden for third all-time on the Canadiens.
In typical fashion, Price demonstrated more of his trademark calm in reacting to a very exciting achievement.
"That's another pretty cool milestone," declared Price, who picked up his 18th win of the season. "I'm just looking forward to the next one."
Video: Carey Price on tying Ken Dryden in career shutouts
Defenseman Ben Chiarot may be relatively new to the Canadiens, but the significance of the moment was not lost on the seven-year veteran.
"I think everyone knows that Carey has a special place in the history of this organization. He's not just one of the best goalies, but one of the best players that's played in the NHL and played for the Montreal Canadiens," praised Chiarot, who made his return to the lineup after a two-game absence. "He's done a lot of special things in this city. Tonight is just another example of that."
Video: Ben Chiarot on Price's milestone shutout
Relief for Poehling, business-like approach for Weal
After scoring a hat trick and the shootout winner in his NHL debut back in April, forward Ryan Poehling was still looking for his first point of the season in his 20th game.
That first point came in a big way on Monday, with the American rookie scoring the insurance marker with 10:15 to play.
Talk about getting the monkey off your back.
"It was big reliever for myself but more importantly, it was perfect timing," outlined Poehling, who logged 13:21 of ice time - including 0:29 shorthanded - on Monday. "We had a one-goal game and I think it was big to extend that, give the guys a little breather, and play just the right way to close out the game."
Video: Ryan Poehling on getting his first of the season
Meanwhile, Weal scored after returning from the press box for a third time this season, but told reporters that he was doing his best not to change his approach when coming back after being a healthy scratch.
"I'm just trying to stay as calm and even as I can. This was not the first situation I've been in like this and in the past, you try and get fired up and that's when you do too much; you're skating too hard here, you're skating too hard there. It's just about just pretending like you've been playing for a month and playing that way mentally," insisted Weal, who has eight points (5G, 3A) in 37 games. "Guys would be lying to you if they said it was easy, but you just try and do what you can to try and help the team win."
The Canadiens hit the ice for practice on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. at the Bell Sports Complex. Their next game is on Wednesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Bell Centre. For tickets to that game, click here.