|Date of game: 10/25/2014
Recap: Montreal vs. NY Rangers
Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers found out once again what a difference Carey Price can make.
In the first meeting between Montreal and the Rangers since last year's Eastern Conference finals, Price turned away 34-of-35 shots in a stellar effort that carried the red-hot Canadiens to a 3-1 victory at Bell Centre.
Price sustained a knee injury in Game 1 of the 2014 East finals and missed the remainder of the series, a contributing factor to the Rangers' prevailing in six games. The standout goaltender was healthy and in top form on Saturday, however, yielding just a first-period goal to Carl Hagelin to help Montreal move to 7-1-0 on the young season.
"I thought we played really well. Things are coming around," said Price afterward. "The guys are letting me see the puck. The short rebounds I'm letting out are being gobbled up by our D-men."
Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist in the win, which concluded a perfect four-game homestand for the Habs. Tomas Plekanec and Lars Eller also scored while Dale Weise chipped in a pair of assists.
The Rangers had a three-game win streak snapped as Henrik Lundqvist couldn't match Price's performance, finishing with 26 saves.
"As far as the goalies are concerned, their's was better than ours," Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault remarked. "We didn't have a second chance to score against Price."
After both teams lit the lamp once during an evenly played opening period, Price came up with 13 saves in the second and Eller broke the tie with a second-effort score with 8:14 remaining in the frame.
P.K. Subban fired a drive that was blocked in front of the New York net and Lundqvist denied Weise in close on the rebound, but the Rangers were unable to clear the puck and Eller jammed it home for his first goal of the season.
Price was spotless once again during a 13-save third that saw Montreal extend the margin courtesy of Pacioretty, who slipped a shot past Lundqvist 6:36 into the period after taking in a behind-the-net backhand feed from Weise.
"We definitely did not sit back too much," said Price of the third period. 'That was a team with a lot of speed, especially in the third period. At the end of the day we didn't panic or give up a lead."
Plekanec opened the scoring with a shorthanded tally with just over 12 minutes elapsed in the contest, forcing a turnover in the Montreal zone that created a 2-on-none breakout with Pacioretty against a defenseless Lundqvist.
Hagelin drew the Rangers even with 2:53 to go in the first, skating uncovered into the slot to put in the carom of Dan Girardi's initial attempt that Price got a piece of.Game Notes
Prior to the start of the contest, the Canadiens teamed with the Senators and
Maple Leafs, who were also at home on Saturday night -- to stage a coordinated
pregame ceremony honoring the Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in the
tragic events in Ottawa earlier this week ... The Rangers fell to 1-8-2 in
their last 11 regular-season visits to Montreal and have now dropped six of
their last seven non-playoff meetings with the Habs overall ... New York
forward Rick Nash, whose eight goals is tied for second in the league this
season, was held to one shot.