Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard had a strong night, but as has often been the case for Montreal’s adversaries this season, he couldn’t outduel Carey Price. The Canadiens netminder turned aside all 25 shots he faced to lead Montreal to a 2-0 victory on Monday.
It was Price’s third shutout in his last eight contests and the 30th of his career. At the age of 27, Price has surpassed Patrick Roy to gain sole possession of fifth place on Montreal’s all-time shutouts list. He still trails Bill Durnan (34), Ken Dryden (46), Jacques Plante (58), and George Hainsworth (75). Price also ranks first in the league with a 1.93 GAA and .935 save percentage in 45 contests. In short, he might become the first Montreal goaltender since Jose Theodore in 2001-02 to win the Vezina Trophy.
Howard matched Price for most of the contest to maintain the scoreless tie until Tomas Plekanec finally scored with 2:30 minutes left in regulation time.
Max Pacioretty added his 26th marker of the season on an empty net.
Detroit has now lost three straight games and has consequently slipped in the fight for the Atlantic Division title. Montreal has a six-point edge over the Red Wings in that battle.