MTL
31-35-16
TOR
35-37-10

Leafs Can't Solve Price

The Canadian Press | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM







TORONTO -- With the Montreal Canadiens trying to chase down an unlikely playoff berth, Carey Price wasn't in need of any extra motivation.

The goaltender stopped all 32 shots he faced Saturday as the Habs hammered the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-0 on a night the home team honoured long-time captain Mats Sundin. The Montreal players all came out to watch the banner-raising ceremony, but it didn't do anything to alter their focus.

``Tonight was a big night for Sundin and I was really honoured to be a part of that,'' said Price. ``But I didn't want to win it any more or any less just because it was a retirement party.''

Price's fourth shutout of the season couldn't have come at a much better time. It gave Montreal its fourth straight victory and moved the team to within seven points of the Maple Leafs for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The goaltender received a bit of luck from two shots off the post in the third period, but he looked calm and in control all night long.

``I actually said to someone on the bench `He looks so calm out there right now I don't think they're going to score a goal,''' said Habs forward Max Pacioretty. ``Good thing I didn't jinx him. It's definitely motivating when he's playing like that because you want to win it for him and you want to give him the shutout.''

Pacioretty, Erik Cole, Rene Bourque, Lars Eller and Mathieu Darche scored goals for Montreal (23-24-9) while David Desharnais added two assists.

The Maple Leafs saw their record drop to 28-22-6 with their most embarrassing loss since getting beaten 7-0 by Boston on Nov. 5.

``Carey Price made all the stops and we didn't get very many, so it made for a difficult night,'' said Toronto coach Ron Wilson.

There was more emotion than usual on an evening that started with Sundin's No. 13 banner being raised to the rafters at Air Canada Centre. During a thoughtful speech, Sundin urged fans to embrace their young team because of how difficult it can be to play hockey in Toronto.

Less than two hours later, the Leafs were being booed off the ice after 40 minutes.

Montreal seized control during a second period that saw it score four times on seven shots against James Reimer. Cole started the barrage at 5:01 with a weak shot through the goalie's legs - a moment that ended up being a turning point in the game.

``The first goal was probably a stoppable shot,'' said Wilson. ``(It put us) down to a team that wants to play everybody back and rob you of your speed and the kind of game you want to play. That first goal was critical and we talked about that. It wasn't a good goal to give up and bad things happen after that.''

The Habs kept on coming with Bourque making it 2-0 less than two minutes on a one-timer before Pacioretty squeaked a shot past Reimer at 15:54 on the power play. It was the first goal the Leafs had surrendered while a man down in 18 games.

For good measure, Eller extended the advantage to 4-0 at 18:54 after skating right around Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf and beating Reimer, prompting a loud series of boos from the sellout crowd.

It wasn't that long ago Montreal was being treated in a similar fashion, but the players believe they've turned a corner since the all-star break.

``We're just playing like a team,'' said Habs defenceman P.K. Subban. ``I think that we're all on the same page, we're supporting each other through thick and thin. We have to continue to do that if we're going to be successful as a team.

``The moment that we start pointing fingers at each other or getting away from the gameplan it's not going to work.''

Wilson sent Jonas Gustavsson out for the third period, no doubt reviving the goaltending debate in the process. The Monster fared only marginally better than his counterpart, getting beaten by Darche on a breakaway just 1:29 into the period, and barely being tested afterwards.

In fact, Montreal managed just three shots in the final 20 minutes. That was the only part of the team's game.

``If we're going to go further and we're going to make the playoffs, we've got to bare down for 60 minutes,'' said Pacioretty. ``It's great to get the win but there's a lot of learning still to do.''

It was just one week ago the Leafs registered an impressive 5-0 victory in Ottawa and looked poised to make a climb up the standings. But after beating Edmonton on Monday, they dropped a game in Winnipeg on Tuesday and Philadelphia on Thursday and now face a tough three-game swing through western Canada.

Montreal dug a big hole early in the season but is doing its best to keep slim playoff hopes alive. The Habs return home to face Carolina and Boston next week and need to keep winning.

``No matter who we're playing we have to play this kind of hockey,'' said interim coach Randy Cunneyworth. ``We were rewarded for playing the right way.''

Notes: It was the 16th shutout of Price's NHL career ... The Leafs had US$7.5 million in salary in the press box with Colby Armstrong and Mike Komisarek scratched. Both players are alternate captains for the team ... Kessel and Mikhail Grabovski each wore an ``A'' in their absence ... Travis Moen, Ryan White and Yannick Weber sat out for Montreal ... Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was among the announced crowd of 19,685.

Tuesday, February 14
  @ Calgary Flames
  9PM ET (Sportsnet, AM640)


The Maple Leafs head out to Western Canada for a three-game road trip.

This will be the second and final meeting this season between the two teams. Toronto won the earlier meeting 3-2.






Scoring Summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
05:01MTL Erik Cole (20) ASST: David Desharnais (28) 1 - 0 MTL
06:45MTL Rene Bourque (16) ASST: Tomas Plekanec (27), Mathieu Darche (6) 2 - 0 MTL
15:54MTL PPG - Max Pacioretty (23) ASST: P.K. Subban (18), David Desharnais (29) 3 - 0 MTL
18:54MTL Lars Eller (12) ASST: NONE 4 - 0 MTL
3rd Period
01:29MTL Mathieu Darche (4) ASST: Tomas Plekanec (28), Carey Price (2) 5 - 0 MTL
Three Stars of the Game
Carey Price
1st
Carey Price
SA: 32TOI: 60:00
GA: 0EV: 27-27
PIM: 0PP: 5-5
SV%: 1.000SH: 0-0
Tomas Plekanec
2nd
Tomas Plekanec
G: 0Shots: 2
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 2TOI: 18:02
David Desharnais
3rd
David Desharnais
G: 0Shots: 0
A: 2Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 15:37
Penalty Summary
1st Period
17:21MTL Tomas Plekanec  Interference against  Tyler Bozak
2nd Period
02:49MTL Hal Gill  Holding against  Joey Crabb
07:37MTL Max Pacioretty  Cross checking against  Dion Phaneuf
15:00TOR Tim Connolly  Slashing against  Aaron Palushaj
3rd Period
05:44MTL P.K. Subban  Interference against  Joffrey Lupul
16:37MTL Lars Eller  Slashing against  Nikolay Kulemin
18:56TOR Mike Brown  Roughing against  P.K. Subban
shots by period
PeriodMTLTOR
1st814
2nd710
3rd38
Total1832
Team Stats
CategoryMTLTOR
Power Plays1/20/5
Hits3625
Faceoff Wins3635
Giveaways1313
Takeaways77
Blocked Shots2113
Penalty Minutes104
  • MONTREAL
  • TORONTO
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
11S. GomezC0001011:54
14T. PlekanecC0222218:02
17C. CampoliD0010015:17
22T. KaberleD0002014:23
26J. GorgesD0021021:47
27R. BourqueL1022020:17
46A. KostitsynL0011011:15
51D. DesharnaisC0210015:37
52M. DarcheL1122018:43
60A. PalushajR0010011:04
61R. DiazD0011013:35
67M. PaciorettyL1014215:48
71L. LeblancC0000013:15
72E. ColeL1011018:59
74A. EmelinD0010018:05
75H. GillD0010216:36
76P. SubbanD0120220:36
81L. EllerC1011214:47
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
31C. Price32321.00060:00
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
2L. SchennD00-21014:46
3D. PhaneufD00-12026:46
4C. FransonD00-10015:34
12T. ConnollyC0003213:13
15M. LombardiC0001012:22
16C. MacArthurL00-14017:01
18M. BrownR00-22210:01
19J. LupulL00-14019:07
20D. SteckelC00-23010:38
24J. LilesD00-10021:42
36C. GunnarssonD00-13019:57
41N. KuleminL00-10015:38
42T. BozakC00-12021:07
46J. CrabbR0001010:46
47D. BoyceC00-22010:02
51J. GardinerD00-20021:15
81P. KesselR00-13021:43
84M. GrabovskiC00-11016:24
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
34J. Reimer1115.73340:00
50J. Gustavsson23.66720:00