Canadiens' Price shuts out Rangers
MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens got all of their offense from one line in the second period and that was plenty for Carey Price, who kept the New York Rangers completely off the scoresheet.
Price made 17 saves for his second shutout of the season and Montreal extended its points streak to seven games with a 3-0 win over New York on Saturday night at Bell Centre.
The Canadiens remain undefeated through regulation in their last seven games (6-0-1), including a 3-1 win over the Rangers on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, which New York coach John Tortorella referred to as "probably one of the worst hockey games I've been a part of, both teams."
Price recorded his 18th career shutout Saturday, his second in four starts.
"Our team was all over the puck, both sides of it, so you can't argue with that result," said Price, who made 26 saves in a 1-0 overtime win in Florida on Feb. 14.
Erik Cole, Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller each had a goal and an assist as the Canadiens scored three second-period goals.
"We just try and go out there and work hard and it paid off," Galchenyuk said. "Good for our line, but it was a good team effort."
Montreal had its five-game winning streak snapped Thursday with a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders.
Martin Biron stopped 15 shots for New York, which has lost three in a row, including a 3-2 overtime loss in Ottawa on Thursday night.
"Everybody in here wants to do a lot more than this, and that's the feeling," Rangers center Brad Richards said. "No one's going to help us except for us and we've got to come together. It's a tough league. We're not getting any freebies. Teams are giving us their A game and we've got to respond."
Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonough left in the second period after he was driven face-first into the end boards on a hit by Montreal's Max Pacioretty, who was given a minor penalty for boarding at 7:20. McDonough, who was bloodied, did not return.
"How high did Pacioretty jump on his hit?" Tortorella asked. "Can anybody give me an answer?"
The Rangers, who were already missing Michael Zotto, were down one more defenseman late in the game.
Dan Girardi was struck on the right leg when he blocked P.K. Subban's one-timer during the Canadiens' five-on-three advantage with a little over a minute remaining in regulation.
Play continued, while Girardi remained down, unable to get up, until Montreal lost control of the puck and it went out of the offensive zone. The Rangers defenseman had to be helped off the ice.
"That's the way he plays the game," Biron said. "He plays hard and he's one of our leaders in that department. He'll never shy away from anything so to see him laying like that turned my stomach inside out at that moment."
Cole got his first point in 10 games with his third goal of the season 1:20 into the second period. He beat Biron on a quick shot from the left side after Rangers defenseman Matt Gilroy's pass deflected to him off former New York teammate Brandon Prust's skate.
Galchenyuk put the Canadiens up 2-0 at 13:36. The 19-year-old rookie got credit for his third goal of the season when he drove the net and jammed a shot off Girardi's stick, which popped the puck up and over Biron.
A lengthy video review confirmed that Eller, who set up the play, did not make contact with the puck as it floated into the net.
"I knew it was a good goal and I asked Lars if he touched the puck, but he said he didn't so I knew it was a goal for sure," Galchenyuk said.
Eller increased the lead to three with a power-play goal at 19:34.
Christian Thomas made his NHL debut for the New York. Thomas, the son of former NHL player Steve Thomas, was recalled from AHL Connecticut earlier in the day. Steve Thomas, who is currently Tampa Bay's player development coach, watched the game from the press box.
NOTES: Del Zotto suffered a lower-body injury in Thursday night's 3-2 overtime loss in Ottawa. ... Rangers left winger Rick Nash was placed on the injured list retroactive to Sunday. Nash, who missed his third straight game because of an undisclosed injury, remained New York's leading scoring entering Saturday night's game with 12 points, including three goals and nine assists, in 14 games. ... Forward Arron Asham did not play for a second straight game and defenseman Steve Eminger also did not dress for the Rangers. Eminger rejoined the team in Montreal after a conditioning assignment with AHL Connecticut. ... Canadiens left winger Rene Bourque had flu-like symptoms and did not play. ... Montreal rookie Brendan Gallagher returned after missing three games because of a concussion.
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