Montreal Canadiens: Superb Goaltending, Added Scoring Punch Spark Current Win Streak
The Montreal Canadiens are currently riding a four-game win streak and once again plenty of credit can be given to their standout No. 1 goaltender Carey Price. For a sixth-straight start he allowed two goals or less in a 3-1 victory over the lowly Buffalo Sabres. He made a huge save off of Marcus Foligno in the third period that helped to preserve the win.
Price has been one of the best goaltenders in the league this season with a standout GAA of 2.00 and a sparkling save percentage of .936. His 10-8-2 personal record would be even better if he’d received more offensive support. However, of late, the Canadiens have been getting much-needed offense from a couple of players who’d been in prolonged slumps.
Max Pacioretty has five goals in his last four games including a natural hat-trick in a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. The power forward who had also been plagued by a leg injury is finally starting to show the form that was expected when the season began. He’s netted two game-winning goals in this stretch that has also included victories over the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. David Desharnais has also awoken from his season-long slumber with two goals and three assists in his last four games.
A pair of offensively-gifted blueliners are pacing the offense and providing a steadying hand on the power play. Andrei Markov had three assists in the win over Buffalo and was a workhouse seeing over 27 minutes of ice time. The veteran has 17 points on the season and has contributed a point in four-straight contests. P.K. Subban continues to lead the club with 21 points on three goals and 18 assists.
At the start of the season, the belief was that the Canadiens’ success would be largely tied to how their star goaltender performed. Fortunately for Montreal, Price has had a phenomenal season so far, and when called upon, backup Peter Budaj has also proven to be very effective. The team now sits at 14-9-2 on the season and with Price giving the team a chance to win on a nightly basis and more scoring punch, there are plenty of reasons for head coach Michel Therrien to feel good about his group these days.
Rick LaFitte is an NHL Writer for Rant Sports.