Following Carey Price’s scintillating performance in a 5-4 OT win over Ottawa last night — the Habs netminder stopped 40 of 44 shots, many of the highlight variety — Montreal teammate P.K. Subban heaped on the praise.
“I know he’s my teammate and everything, but I’m hard pressed to find another goalie that’s better than him right now in the world,” Subban said following the game, per Sportsnet. “There are some really good ones in this league but, the way he’s playing of late and this year, to me he’s the best goalie in the world right now.”
Price’s numbers on the year (22-12-4, 2.26 GAA, .926 save percentage) are very good, and he was rewarded for his stellar play with a spot on the Canadian Olympic team. His recent run of quality outings, combined with the injury to Roberto Luongo and inconsistent play from Mike Smith, could have put Price in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 gig heading into Sochi.
And if any Team Canada scouts were watching his effort against the Sens on Thursday, they’d probably agree. Price stood on his head on a number of occasions, including this robbery of Bobby Ryan:
“He was the difference, right?” Ryan said of Price. “That game could have been a much different game going into the third if it wasn’t for him. He made three, four, maybe five 10-bellers right in a row.”
Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.
The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.
Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.
Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.
Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.
During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.
It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.
As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.
Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.