Cam Tucker

MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 29:  Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens looks on during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre on October 29, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
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The x-factor Price keeps Kings in check to maintain perfect record

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Carey Price almost made it look easy.

With the Montreal Canadiens leading the L.A. Kings by three goals on Thursday, Price recovered to rob Anze Kopitar with a sprawling save, the Habs goalie deflecting the puck over the net and out of play at the end of a scramble around his crease.

It was a spectacular save, but really, what else would you expect from Price?

He told reporters following Montreal’s 4-1 win over the Kings that he got “lucky” with the save. He’s definitely got a point. Whether it’s luck or skill or at times a combination of the two, Price continues to provide stellar goaltending for the Habs.

The backbone of the Habs, Price made 23 saves versus the puck possession beasts from L.A.

It’s no secret the Habs rely heavily on their star puck stopper, and players have admitted that they need to cut down on allowing so many shots on Price.

It’s no coincidence that the demise of that team’s playoff chances last season accelerated with Price out due to injury.

He certainly provides an X-factor for his team when healthy.

Montreal’s lone regulation loss, a well-documented stinker, this season came last week against Columbus. Price wasn’t in net. With the win Thursday, he improved his record to 9-0-0. He also boasts a save percentage of .953. That’s insane.

He will lose eventually this season. Right? But for now, Price is on another impressive roll. Another level.

As a result, the Habs have opened up an eight-point lead in the Atlantic Division.

Related: The Canadiens’ short-term outlook hasn’t changed much: It’s still all about Carey Price

Video: Ryan Miller makes spectacular diving save, but the losing continues for Canucks

MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 02:  Ryan Miller #30 of the Vancouver Canucks reacts on a call by the referee on an empty net goal late in the third period during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on November 2, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-0.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
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The misery continues for the Vancouver Canucks.

After a one-game outburst — five goals for counts as an outburst, right? — against the New York Rangers two days ago, the Canucks lost 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, concluding a six-game road trip with only a single win.

Scoring difficulties persist. Their coach, Willie Desjardins, remains on the hot seat with the Canucks sitting with a record of 5-9-1 following that improbable 4-0 start.

The positives are few and far between for the Canucks.

The play of rookie defenseman Troy Stecher is one of the very few things to be optimistic about. Daniel and Henrik Sedin worked their magic to score a beautiful goal versus the Red Wings.

And Ryan Miller made a spectacular desperation diving save to rob the Red Wings of a fourth goal.

With the Canucks net empty, Henrik Zetterberg fired the puck toward the goal only to have Miller dive back, throw his arm up and snag the puck in his glove.

The Canucks now return to Vancouver to play the Dallas Stars on Sunday.

Rask just keeps on winning for the Bruins

SUNRISE, FL - NOVEMBER 1: Goaltender Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins watches a replay during first period action against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on November 1, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida. The Bruins defeated the Panthers 2-1. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
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OK, so it wasn’t a perfect night for the Boston Bruins.

Colin Miller accidentally scored into his own net off a faceoff, but by then the Bruins were comfortably ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets and all that own goal did was make the score look a tad bit more respectable for the visitors.

It happens. Just ask Loui Eriksson.

The gaffe didn’t matter. The Bruins won for the fourth time in the past six games, defeating the Blue Jackets 5-2. They erupted for four goals in just over four minutes in the first period, chasing Sergei Bobrovsky from the net.

Thursday’s game featured an intriguing goalie match-up, with Bobrovsky facing Tuukka Rask, who is having a great start to his season. He’s been a major reason why the Bruins currently hold a playoff spot, although there is plenty of hockey remaining on their schedule.

A goalie duel never materialized. Bobrovsky was pulled before the game was even 13 minutes old and Rask faced only 17 shots, ending the Blue Jackets’ point streak at five games.

Rask is now 8-1-0 this season — not to mention a .938 save percentage — for a Bruins team that had dealt with injuries to their goalies, including back-up Anton Khudobin, early on.

There was good news on that front following Thursday’s game. Per the Bruins, Khudobin will travel with the team on its upcoming three-game road trip.

Video: Keith Yandle was furious after an open-ice collision with Brent Burns

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Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle wasn’t happy with officials after an open-ice collision with Brent Burns.

The incident occurred as Joe Pavelski was skating the puck up the ice past Burns and Yandle, who came together in the middle of the ice. Yandle certainly got the worst of it.

There was no call on that play, but Yandle, who was slow to get up, certainly didn’t agree with Francois St. Laurent’s take on what occurred.

Gretzky headlines Blues roster for Winter Classic alumni game

17 Mar 1996:  Center Wayne Gretzky of the St. Louis Blues moves the puck during a game against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California.  The Ducks won the game, 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Cratty  /Allsport
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Wayne Gretzky was his own toughest critic in his return to the ice for the Heritage Classic alumni game last month.

“I’m not doing a road show, but that might have been my last game,” said Gretzky, the hockey legend, per NHL.com in October.

But it appears The Great One — who admits he usually only skates about once a year — will indeed return to the outdoor ice at Busch Stadium for the Winter Classic alumni game between former players from the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 31.

On Thursday, the Blues released their roster for the event. Gretzky headlines the list of players, despite playing only 31 games combined between regular season and playoffs for the Blues during the 1995-96 campaign.

Here is the Blues alumni roster, as of Nov. 10:

— Bruce Affleck
— Martin Brodeur
— Jeff Brown
— Garth Butcher
— Gino Cavallini
— Paul Cavallini
— Kelly Chase
— Dallas Drake
— Bernie Federko
— Wayne Gretzky
— Brett Hull
— Barret Jackman
— Mike Liut
— Al MacInnis
— Chris Mason
— Scott Mellanby
— Adam Oates
— Larry Patey
Chris Pronger
— Jamie Rivers
— Bryce Salvador
— Ed Staniowski
— Peter Stastny
— Keith Tkachuk
— Pierre Turgeon
— Terry Yake
— Scott Young