MONTREAL - Here are a few key storylines from Saturday afternoon's 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers at the Bell Centre.
Moving up the list
Carey Price was outstanding again between the pipes, turning aside 29 shots to earn his third shutout of the season.
The 32-year-old Anahim Lake, BC native also took sole possession of third place on the franchise's all-time shutout list by blanking the opposition for the 47th time in his career.
And the goaltender he surpassed was none other than Hall of Famer, Ken Dryden.
"It's pretty cool. It's special for me because I had a conversation with Ken, I think it was my third season in the League when things weren't going that well, and he helped me through it," revealed Price, who posted his sixth victory in his last seven outings. "I'm very grateful for that, and I'm looking forward to keep on going."
What was that valuable advice Dryden shared with the Canadiens' starter during the 2009-10 campaign?
"Just stick with it, trust in yourself," said Price. "It was the timing more than anything that was really important."
Price made eight stops in the first period, four in the second, and another 17 in the third to held snap the Panthers' win streak at six games.
As time was winding down in the final frame, his teammates desperately wanted to make certain that their netminder added another big achievement to his already impressive resume.
"The final five minutes of that game, I think everyone knew what he was about to accomplish, and that was something we wanted to get for him," said defenseman Jeff Petry. "And it's a big win for us as a team."
Putting up a big number
With respect to Petry, he set a brand new career-high with four points versus Florida.
The 32-year-old blueliner assisted on every single one of the Canadiens' goals by Nick Suzuki, Artturi Lehkonen, Tomas Tatar and Brendan Gallagher.
Helpers aside, though, Petry was pleased with the way the group as a whole responded to the challenge of facing one of the League's top offensive machines.
"We said it. We had to play a strong defensive game for what they have offensively on that side, but our game plan was to chip pucks in," explained Petry. "You're prone to create turnovers when you're putting the puck behind them and pressuring them. I thought our forwards did a good job with that."
Petry's wife, Julie, and three young sons, Boyd, Barrett and Bowen, were all in attendance to witness a memorable performance by the Michigan State University alum, which undoubtedly made the occasion all the more special.
Petry has 26 assists on the year, which leaves him just seven shy of tying the single-season high he set last season with 33.
With plenty of hockey left to be played over the next two months, Claude Julien's contingent is committed to making a serious push for a playoff berth.
It certainly won't be easy, but this edition of the Canadiens isn't showing any signs of throwing in the towel.
"We just want to play well, and we want to play for our fans. They should be happy with winning. I don't think it's over until it's over," insisted Tatar, following the Habs' fourth victory in their last five games. "We still have 29 games left, and we're playing a lot of these games against divisional teams. If we're able to beat them, we still have a chance."
Defeating the Panthers was just another step in the right direction ahead of a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.
"It was an important game for us," added Price. "They're a team that we need to beat out, so we're just scratching and clawing."