The Toronto Maple Leafs outshot the Montreal Canadiens 22-11 over the first 40 minutes of Saturday’s game and still entered the third period down 2-0. In the end, Montreal earned a 4-0 victory.
Goaltender Carey Price naturally deserves a lot of the credit as he turned aside 30 shots to earn his sixth shutout of the season and 31st of his career. This was also his 36th victory, which is tied for the most wins for any Canadiens goaltender through 50 games played, per the NHL’s Communications Department. The only Montreal netminder to match that feat was Ken Dryden in 1976-77.
With a 41-16-5 record, Montreal sits atop the Eastern Conference standings and Price is the single biggest reason for that. He leads the league with a 1.88 GAA and .936 save percentage.
Goaltenders rarely win the Hart Trophy, with Montreal’s Jose Theodore being the last one to accomplish that feat in 2001–02, but Price might follow in his footsteps. Along with New York Islanders forward John Tavares, Price was recently listed as a favorite to win the award by online bookmaker Bovada.