NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Montreal
(Tuesday, March 11th)
Final Score: Montreal 4, New Jersey 0
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Carey Price stopped all 38 shots he saw for his second career shutout as the Montreal Canadiens downed the New Jersey Devils, 4-0, in a battle for first place in the Eastern Conference at the Bell Centre.
The win moved Montreal into first place in the Eastern Conference with 87 points, one better than New Jersey.
Bryan Smolinski, Saku Koivu, Maxim Lapierre and Michael Ryder each lit the lamp for the Canadiens, who have won three of their last four games.
"It feels real good," said Price. "I'm pretty excited on the inside, but it's just the way I am I guess. That was a really important win for us. We needed the two points. But it's gonna be up and down for the rest of the year. Everyone is fighting for first place."
Martin Brodeur was tagged for four goals on 33 shots for the Devils, who had a three-game winning streak stopped.
"We didn't have a lot of good chances," said Brodeur. "He (Price) was able to get to rebounds and fielded the puck well. His future is really bright. I think he is going to be tested in the next few years."
New Jersey holds a one-point lead over idle Pittsburgh for first place in the Atlantic Division.
The Habs grabbed a 1-0 lead just 4:51 into the game as Tom Kostopoulos left a drop pass for Smolinski, who grabbed the puck and from the right boards near the circle, fired a shot that beat Brodeur high.
Later in the first, Montreal took a 2-0 lead. On a give-and-go play, Koivu fired a pass from the left side to Sergei Kastsitsyn, who immediately fed the puck back to Koivu for a wrister into the net with 1:32 left in the frame.
Price was busy in the first period as he had to make 20 saves to keep the Devils off the board.
The Canadiens took a 3-0 lead with 5:40 left in the second. Mark Streit received a lead pass in the neutral zone and from the left point chipped the puck to Kastsitsyn, who skated to the left side of the net and dumped it over to Lapierre for a tip-in past Brodeur.
New Jersey kept up the pressure in the second period and had 13 shots on net, but Price was up to the task and turned them all aside.
The Canadiens defense did a better job of shutting down New Jersey in the third period and only allowed five shots.
Ryder capped the scoring in the game when he tipped the puck out of the air in front of the net for his 13th goal of the season with 2:21 to play.
Montreal hosts Ottawa on Thursday...New Jersey continues its four-game road trip in Minnesota on Thursday...Montreal took three of four games against New Jersey this season. The Devils had swept the series the previous two seasons...Neither team scored on the power play with New Jersey having three chances and Montreal two.
03/11 23:44:14 ET