Recaps of Saturday’s games involving all seven Canadian NHL teams.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Carey Price collected his 40th win and ninth shutout of the season backstopping the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-0 win over the San Jose Sharks. It was Price’s second straight shutout, tying him for the league lead with Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury. Price is also only two wins away from tying the franchise record for single-season wins (42) held by Jacques Plante and Ken Dryden.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens still have sole possession of first in the Eastern Conference, but the New York Rangers hold three games in hand and the Tampa Bay Lightning have two. With nine games left in the Habs’ schedule, Price seems certain to break the club record for most wins in a season. The all-time NHL record is 48, held by Martin Brodeur.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks overcame a 1-0 deficit to down the Los Angeles Kings 4-1. Radim Vrbata potted the game winner, which was also his team-leading 27th of the season.
CALGARY HERALD: Former Flame Rene Bourque scored twice, including the winner in overtime, to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-2 win over Calgary. The Flames dominated the play but Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 38 saves for the win.
WINNIPEG SUN: Ondrej Pavelec made his fourth straight start for the first time in four months, turning aside 27 shots to backstop the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-0 win over the Washington Capitals. Mark Stuart, Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry tallied for the Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks are now two points ahead of the Flames for second in the Pacific Division, while the Jets opened a four-point lead over the LA Kings for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference, only one point behind the Minnesota Wild. The Senators win combined with the Boston Bruins’ shootout loss puts them only one point behind the Bruins for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. However, the Senators looked rattled at times against the Leafs. Turris and Senators captain Erik Karlsson had words at the bench at one point, while coach Dave Cameron screamed at his players to “wake up!” during a timeout. Hammond also appeared to struggle in this game.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice, including the winner in overtime, while a returning Taylor Hall collected an assist as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4.