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Sekac, Price help Canadiens handle Kings

by Sean Farrell

MONTREAL -- Badly outshot, the Montreal Canadiens made the most of their opportunities Friday while goalie Carey Price all but shut down the Los Angeles Kings.

Jiri Sekac scored twice, and Price made 44 saves to help Montreal Canadiens to a 6-2 win at Bell Centre.

P.K. Subban had a goal and two assists, David Desharnais had a goal and an assist, and Andrei Markov and Sven Andrighetto scored for the Canadiens (19-10-2).

"[The Kings] like to take the puck to the net," Sekac said. "They keep shooting from everywhere, especially on the [penalty kill], and it's hard to defend when they have a one-man advantage and they get a lot of shots out of that. We gave up a couple scoring chances but [Price] was on his top level again, so that's a big part of our win today."

Subban assisted on Sekac's power-play goal in the first period, on his even-strength goal in the third, and put Montreal ahead 3-0 with his eighth goal at 3:45 of the second.

Desharnais, who scored the Canadiens' fourth goal in the third period, had an assist when Markov scored Montreal's second power-play goal at 1:01 of the second.

The Canadiens had two shots on three power plays and scored on each of them.

"We were definitely opportunistic," Price said. "We capitalized on the few chances that we did get, and that's a good hockey club over there. They played pretty well tonight, the score doesn't indicate how that game went, and we'll take the two points, obviously."

It was the third time Montreal has scored at least two power-play goals in a game this season, the first time since Nov. 15, when they scored three in a 6-3 win against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Kings, who went 0-for-5 on the power play, had 16 of their 46 shots with the man-advantage.

"We've had a lot of practice killing penalties so we're getting pretty good at it," Price said. "It definitely gets you in the game because you spend two minutes in your zone, so if we can kill it off it might be a bit of a momentum grab, but obviously we don't want to be doing that too much."

Defensemen Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty scored for Los Angeles (15-10-5), which won 5-3 at the Ottawa Senators on Thursday but has lost three of four.

"We know Carey Price is an unbelievable goalie, one of the best in the League," said Doughty, who assisted on Muzzin's goal. "He wins games for his team all the time. But we just wanted to keep putting pucks to the net, and as you saw in the third period we started putting pucks behind him and started getting on a roll. We started cheating a little bit and not playing the right way and that backfired."

Kings goalie Martin Jones made 14 saves on 20 shots in his seventh start, his first in four games.

Sekac put Montreal up 1-0 at 8:16 of the first period, four seconds after Doughty was called for interference. Tomas Plekanec won a faceoff in the left circle and drew the puck to Subban, who moved toward the middle to take a wrist shot that Sekac deflected past Jones.

"The power play, it's one of those things where when it's hot, you want to keep putting pucks at the net but just keeping it simple," Subban said. "I thought we did a good job of doing that today, not overthinking it, just working hard to generate shooting lanes and getting the puck to the net."

Markov made it 2-0 with his fourth goal, third on the power play, when his shot struck the blade of Los Angeles defenseman Brayden McNabb's stick on its way past Jones.

Subban increased the lead when he stepped into Dale Weise's drop pass at the Kings blue line and drove a slap shot between Jones' legs from the right point.

"We jumped on them early, scoring the first goal, Jiri getting in front, and it was key for our team," Subban said. "We sort of built off of that first goal and then we started getting our forecheck going a little bit."

Manny Malhotra assisted on Subban's goal for his first point in 31 games with the Canadiens.

Muzzin, who had a career-high three assists Thursday, scored his second goal at 3:35 of the third period. Doughty made it 4-2 with his third goal at 10:48, 61 seconds after Desharnais scored his third to restore Montreal's three-goal lead.

Andrighetto scored his second goal at 13:59. The rookie left wing has a point in each of his three games with the Canadiens since debuting Dec. 6.

Andrighetto is the first Montreal player with a point in each of his first three NHL games since Pierre Mondou in 1977-78, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Sekac scored his second of the game, his fifth goal, at 15:26 to increase the lead to 6-2.

Price, who is 4-1-0 against Los Angeles, made several big saves during the Kings' fourth power play after Montreal's PA Parenteau was penalized for holding at 12:19 of the second period.

Price lunged to his right to make a blocker save on Dustin Brown's backhand on a deke in the goalmouth. Moments later, Price dove to his right to get his body in front of a shot by McNabb.

"We had a lot of really good chances," Sutter said. "We totally dominated the first period. I think Carey Price was really, really good, wasn't he?"

Price made 28 saves in the first two periods; Montreal had 11 shots but led 3-0.

"It definitely stings," said Kings center Anze Kopitar, who was held without a point for the ninth time in 11 games. "I thought we played, the first two periods were pretty decent but we were down 3-0. In the third we just got away from our game plan and just gave way too many odd-man rushes. Team like this, the skill that they have, they're going to make you pay."

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