The Montreal Canadiens made sure Carey Price‘s 300th NHL game was a memorable one. On Monday, the star netminder turned aside 18 of the 19 shots he faced, and his teammates scored four goals as they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes for the third time this season to complete a season sweep. Price has now only allowed a total of four goals in his last four starts, and his play has helped the Canadiens maintain their lead in the Northeast Division.
The Canadiens currently hold a three-point edge over the Boston Bruins for the division lead and second spot in the conference. With every indication that a trade sending Dallas Stars’ winger Jaromir Jagr to the Bruins will go through sometime on Monday, things just got a little tougher for the Canadiens and they should be thankful for the slim lead they currently have.
On Monday, the Canadiens were once again helped by a strong power play. As has been the case more often than not this season, the goal with the man-advantage came thanks to the Canadiens’ defense as Andrei Markov scored for the seventh time this season, assisted by P.K. Subban. Max Pacioretty broke out of a 12-game scoring slump in a big way with two goals in the third period, while rookie Nathan Beaulieu assisted on a second-period goal by Jeff Halpern to earn his first career point.
The key to the Canadiens offense this season has been balance, and with Pacioretty’s two goals the team now has five players with 10 goals or more and 13 players with double-digit point totals. With their offense producing and Price turning in one of his best season’s yet, the Canadiens continue to look like a team that could go deep into the playoffs.