NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, March 3rd
(All times eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (36-21-9) at San Jose Sharks (36-21-8), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Price -- Carey that is -- has been right so far for
Montreal. The Canadiens netminder will try to win his fourth straight start
tonight when his club visits the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion.
Many were left scratching their heads last Tuesday when the Canadiens traded
netminder Cristobal Huet to Washington for a second-round pick, effectively
handing over the starting goaltender position to the 20-year-old Price while
in the midst of a battle for the Northeast Division.
The rookie has been up to the task so far, as he has won all three of his
starts since the trade deadline passed. Price has defeated Atlanta, Buffalo
and New Jersey since last Tuesday, making a total of 88 saves in that span
while allowing just four goals.
Price was sharp again on Saturday, making 31 saves to backstop the Canadiens
to a big 2-1 victory over the Devils. Andrei Kostitsyn's goal with 5:43 to
play in the third period lifted Montreal.
Mark Streit scored the other goal for the Canadiens, who have won three
straight and with 81 points now sit atop the Eastern Conference standings
along with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Montreal is also a point up on Ottawa for the lead in the Northeast Division.
The Canadiens bring a three-game road winning streak into tonight's tilt, and
begin a four-game western road trip. Montreal, which is 20-9-4 on the road
this year, will also visit Phoenix, Los Angeles and Anaheim over the next
San Jose picked up some goaltending depth at the trade deadline, signing Brian
Boucher to a one-year contract last Tuesday, and the netminder made his Sharks
debut on Saturday.
Boucher stopped 24 shots in a 2-0 victory over St. Louis for his 14th career
shutout. Boucher had been playing for the Philadelphia Phantoms, the American
Hockey League affiliate of the Flyers, and hadn't played a game in the NHL
since March 30 of last season with Columbus.
Starting netminder Evgeni Nabokov has played in all but three of San Jose's
games this year, and is tied for the league lead in wins with 35.
Joe Pavelski and Mike Grier scored for the Sharks, who won their season-high
fifth straight game. San Jose hasn't won six in a row since an eight-game
winning streak from April 3-15, 2006.
San Jose wrapped an eight-game road trip with the win, and finished above .500
on the trek despite dropping the first three tests of the swing.
The win was also a milestone for Sharks head coach Ron Wilson. Wilson won his
193rd game as head coach of the Sharks, making him the winningest coach in
franchise history. Wilson topped Darryl Sutter for the top mark in San Jose
The Sharks stand third in the Pacific Division with 80 points, seven behind
first-place Dallas. San Jose is also fifth in the West, a point back of
San Jose is 14-13-5 at home this year and plays the first of back-to-back
games as the host tonight. The Sharks will welcome Ottawa to town on
Montreal's 6-2 victory at home over the Sharks on January 14, 2006 -- the last
time the teams met -- halted a three-game series losing streak. The Canadiens
haven't visited San Jose since March 3, 2004 and has lost three straight
03/03 10:28:11 ET