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That winning feeling

The Canadiens made it 10 straight wins at home to set a new franchise mark, while Carey Price made history, too

by Matt Cudzinowski @canadiensmtl /

MONTREAL - The Canadiens made team history on Saturday night - and Carey Price set a brand new NHL mark along the way with another remarkable performance between the pipes.

In besting the Detroit Red Wings 5-0 at the Bell Centre, Michel Therrien's troops became the first Canadiens team to win their first 10 home games in a season in their 99-year NHL history. 

Only two other teams in league history have managed to accomplish the feat over the years - the 1925-26 Ottawa Senators (10-0-0) and the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks (11-0-0).

Winning 13 of their first 15 games to begin a campaign is also a franchise mark, as the Canadiens sit atop the NHL standings with a 13-1-1 overall record and 27 out of a possible 30 points in the bank.

It goes without saying that head coach Michel Therrien was pleased with his group's effort, one in which the Canadiens stormed out to a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes of play on the strength of goals by Phillip Danault, Paul Byron and Shea Weber, and never looked back. 

Video: DET@MTL: Danault turns loose puck into a goal

"It's a team win. If you look at it, we were good at even-strength and we were very good on special teams, too. As a coach, I can be more than satisfied. Carey got a shutout. The game was filled with things that I'm pleased with, especially against a division rival," praised Therrien, on the subject of the Canadiens' fourth straight win, in which they found the back of the net twice with the man advantage. "Those are big points. We were ready for this game and we built on our start."

There's no question about that. Andrew Shaw went on to snap a 13-game goal-scoring drought at the 15:13 mark of the second period, before captain Max Pacioretty got in on the action as well just 96 seconds later with his first tally since October 27 to give the Canadiens a commanding 5-0 lead heading into the final frame. 

"As a team, we all played great. We stuck to the systems. We supported each other with the puck. When you play that way, it makes it easy, it makes it fun. We got in on the forecheck and created some turnovers. The goals might not have all been pretty, but they all count," shared Shaw, who also chipped in with two assists to go along with his second goal of the season. 

"When the train's rolling, everybody gets their chemistry going through the lines. I think every line contributed, everyone was playing hard and competing. We scored some big-time goals early. We kept that pressure. We didn't let off the gas. We just kept moving forward from there," added Shaw, who claimed first-star honors following his first multi-point effort in a Canadiens uniform.

Video: DET@MTL: Shaw scores with nice redirect

Price, meanwhile, became the first goaltender in NHL history to win each of his first 10 games of the season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He turned aside 25 shots to register his second shutout of the year, which also happened to be the 38th of his extraordinary career to date. 

The All-World netminder - who now boasts a 10-0-0 record, 1.40 goals-against average and .957 save percentage on the year - continues to impress Therrien with every passing performance.

"The way Carey's playing, he gives us a lot of confidence. He's a real leader. The way he's playing, there are moments when the team is flat, like all teams are sometimes, and he's there to make the big stops," mentioned Therrien. "He's playing with a lot of confidence. It's tough to describe his games. We're always repeating ourselves. I see the way he plays as leadership. That gives your team confidence. Even against Detroit, there were two or three flaws in our game, and Carey managed to make the big saves."

Video: Michel Therrien on the victory over Detroit

In addition to giving the Canadiens a huge boost night after night, Pacioretty says Price's play simply demoralizes the opposition which really does put them in the driver's seat from the start.

"I think the game was out of reach, but still a team that's looking to find some offense, to just get denied like that, I think it carries over and that adds up in guys' minds," explained Pacioretty. "It's a long season. I think when he's making saves like that and he's frustrating shooters, it adds up over time."

Price won't be in goal, though, when the Canadiens battle the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night at the United Center. Al Montoya will get the opportunity to ply his trade on home turf back in the Windy City and make his first start since dropping a decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 4.

The Canadiens' lone trip of the regular season to Illinois will also be a special occasion for Shaw and Danault alike, both of whom are former members of the Blackhawks organization.

Video: Andrew Shaw on Phillip Danault's game

"It's exciting. I'm hungry to play," said Shaw, who won Stanley Cup titles with Chicago in 2013 and 2015. "I've got to keep my emotions in check. It's going to be an emotional night, obviously. The guys are excited for it. We know it's a big game as a team. They're playing some good hockey right now and so are we."

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