If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.
The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.
After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.
If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.
Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.
Sure, there were signs of rust here and there, but Carey Price is back.
The Montreal Canadiens are back on the winning track, too, edging the New York Islanders 5-3 after dropping a loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.
It’s the fifth straight win for Montreal against the Isles, with Price making 31 out of 34 stops. He easily cleared the bar of merely being better than Jaroslav Halak tonight, as Price’s former crease-mate was pulled after just one period.
(Price also showed some snarl, which was needed as players such as Brock Nelson tried to invade his crease.)
While Price is the obvious headliner, supporting cast members were the other big story of this one. Jeff Petry stood out, in particular, managing his first career two-goal game.
This win leaves Montreal alone atop the East, with only Dallas ahead of the Habs based on tie-breakers, as the two teams both own 32 standings points.
File this under “conveniently timed news.”
Right as Montreal Canadiens fans might have been feeling a twinge of panic with Mike Condon slipping (the Arizona Coyotes completed a 3-2 upset on Thursday), the team made it official: Carey Price is back.
Again, things were getting a little antsy.
Price will get thrown right in the deep end to start. The New York Islanders are a formidable scoring threat, and Montreal will be closing off a back-to-back set.
Not that the Habs are complaining. They held the fort with Price out, and now they just hope that he can get back in the mix without too much trouble.
After a jam-packed Tuesday night of action, the league sets its eyes on two games (and net/goalie equipment size debates, apparently).
There’s quality even if there isn’t quantity, especially with the NBCSN contest as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Montreal Canadiens.
Aside from a hiccup against the Calgary Flames, the Penguins have been hot lately. That’s good for them, as the Habs are currently riding high as the top-ranked team in the NHL, not just the East.
It should be a lot of fun, and you can stream it via the link below.
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Some interesting developments out of Montreal on Monday, regarding the health of star goalie Carey Price.
Price, who’s missed the last five games with a lower-body injury, has left the city seeking additional medical assessment, per La Presse. The Canadiens confirmed that Price was out of town, adding that head coach Michel Therrien would have a status update on Tuesday.
Last Monday, the Habs announced that Price — who was hurt during a 4-3 loss to Edmonton on Oct. 29 — was only supposed to miss one week of action. But the reigning league MVP wasn’t at practice this morning (Dustin Tokarski and Mike Condon were, however).
While the optics around this latest development might cause concern, it’s possible they’re part of Montreal taking a cautious approach with Price.
Simply put, there’s little reason to rush him back into action. The Canadiens currently sit atop the league, with 27 points, and have fared extremely well with Condon replacing Price as their No. 1 netminder.
The 25-year-old has been terrific in his first NHL campaign, posting a 6-0-1 record with a .940 save percentage and 1.57 GAA.
Barring a stunning development, it’s safe to assume Condon will be in net on Wednesday, when the Habs take on the Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN). This is also a light stretch of the schedule for Montreal, with just two games in an eight-day span, so Condon could be in line for an additional start as well.