Carey Price made 24 saves as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Florida Panthers 4-1 on Sunday.
With the win, Price picked up his 42nd win of the season tying the Canadiens’ franchise record for wins in a single season. Price joins Jaques Plante and Ken Dryden as the only other Habs’ goaltenders to reach the mark.
Montreal has two regular season games remaining, which could allow Price to set a new club record.
The victory was also coach Michel Therrien’s 200th behind the Habs’ bench.
The news wasn’t all good for Montreal.
The Habs lost leading scorer Max Pacioretty in the first period. Pacioretty collided with Panthers’ defenseman Dmitry Kulikov. Following the hit, the 26-year-old lost his footing and hit his head on the boards.
Pacioretty was wobbly as he was helped to the Habs’ bench. He did not return.
Tomas Plekanec, Brendan Gallagher, Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau and Devante Smith-Pelly had the Canadiens goals.
With the win, Montreal moved two points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for top spot in the Atlantic Division.
Aaron Ekblad had the lone Florida goal while Dan Ellis made 24 saves in the loss.
All the latest from the blue paint…
Petr Mrazek starts for Detroit as rotation continues
Jimmy Howard turned aside 22 of 24 shots in regulation en route to a 3-2 shootout win over Minnesota on Saturday, but Red Wings coach Mike Babcock announced well in advance that Howard and Mrazek would split Detroit’s goaltending duties this weekend. That’s nothing new for the Wings as Howard’s recent struggles have thrown his status as the team’s number one netminder in question.
The debate was also fueled by Mrazek’s strong play in March (2.18 GAA and .932 save percentage in six games), but he allowed three goals on 25 shots against Boston on April 2.
It remains to be seen if Detroit will enter the playoffs with a clear starting goaltender. Then again, it remains to be seen if Detroit will enter the playoffs at all. A loss against Washington tonight could certainly complicate matters for the Red Wings.
It’s not clear who will play between the pipes for Washington, although it wouldn’t be shocking to see Braden Holtby start on no rest.
Habs at Panthers: No confirmed goaltenders yet for this one, but Carey Price is rested so odds are Montreal will start him. Dan Ellis might get the nod for Florida after Roberto Luongo surrendered four goals on 22 shots on Saturday.
Sens at Leafs: Andrew Hammond vs. Jonathan Bernier
Blues at Hawks: Jake Allen vs. Corey Crawford
There’s plenty at stake tonight when the Bruins host the Panthers at TD Garden.
Just ask Claude Julien.
“I don’t think you should be breathing easy and I don’t think anybody in there has been breathing easy,” the B’s head coach said, per CSNNE. “I think it’s just one of those things where we know where we’re at. We know what we have to do here we just have to stay with the task at hand here, and keep focusing on what we need to do.
“Dave [Krejci] said it, and we’re not denying that either: ‘It’s almost like a game seven tonight.’ A lot of stuff can happen one way or another here depending on the outcome.”
A loss tonight would be damaging for Boston, and virtually fatal for Florida. The Panthers head into tonight’s action four points back of the Bruins for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, with just six games remaining in the regular season. But the Panthers also hold the benefit of playing the B’s twice more down the stretch — tonight, and again on Apr. 9.
To make that second chance worth something, though, Florida has to get a result this evening.
“We’re playing well and we’ve got to play well again tonight,” head coach Gerard Gallant said, per the team’s website. “It’s going to be two hungry teams looking for the two points.”
Florida should have confidence heading into this tilt, having secured three of a possible four points from Boston in the first two matchups of the season. That includes a 2-1 shootout victory on Mar. 21, one in which Roberto Luongo stopped 26 of 27 shots and all three shootout attempts.
Luongo will draw back in tonight after sitting out Sunday’s win over Ottawa — veteran Dan Ellis got the victory — and look to continue his solid run of play against the Bruins this year, having posted a 1.40 GAA and .942 save percentage in just under 130 minutes of action.