MONTREAL — When a team isn’t scoring many goals, there’s one way to ensure a victory and that’s to keep the other team off the scoreboard.
That’s what Carey Price did Tuesday night as he stopped 27 shots in the Canadiens’ 2-0 victory over the Calgary Flames.
“Lately, goals have been at a premium,” said Price who was on the short end of a 2-1 count in each of his last two games. “We knew it could be that kind of game and we didn’t vary from our game plan.”
There were two occasions when this game could have swung in the Flames’ favour.
Early in the second period, Lee Stempniak threw a harmless looking shot from the corner and it ended under Price’s leg pad. The Flames thought they had scored but, when the play was reviewed in Toronto, the only camera angle showed the puck three-quarters of the way across the goal line.
“It was a weird play,” Price said. “He threw it on net and I didn’t know if it was in or not. I just fell on it and tried to block all the camera views.”
The Canadiens faced another challenge a few minutes later when Tomas Plekanec was called for roughing. On the ensuing faceoff, Lars Eller grabbed the puck with his glove and was called for delay of game. That gave Calgary a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:59.
“We had two of our best penalty-killers in the box but Josh Gorges, (Douglas) Murray and (Brandon) Prust, they did a fantastic job out there and so did Brian Gionta at the end. They take a lot of pride in getting into the shooting lanes and when (Calgary did have) chances, Carey Price was there.”
The Flames managed only two shots and several others were blocked. One shot appeared to hurt Murray but he stayed on the ice.
“Murray showed courage,” Price said. “We have gutsy guys who are willing to do whatever it takes.”
The Canadiens got the only goal they needed from Rene Bourque, who came to Montreal from Calgary two years ago.
“I think we got a turnover in the neutral zone and Lars Eller took it wide and we created a 2-on-1 down low,” Bourque said. “Prust just waited for the D-man to go down to cut off the lane and he got around him and threw it front and it hit my shin pad.”
It was the eighth goal of the season for Bourque, who has come under fire for his lack of production.
“We’ve had a lot of chances the last three games and it was good to get one,” he said.
One of the three stars went to Ryan White, who returned to action after missing 14 games with a lower-body injury. He played on the fourth line with Michael Bournival and newcomer Dale Weise and they had a strong game.
“(White) had to have a good game after what he did to me this morning,” said Therrien, who was slew-footed by White during the morning skate. “He’s an energy guy. I really liked that line with Bournival and Weise. They spent a lot of time in the offensive zone and threw some pucks at the net.”
The line produced nine of Montreal’s 27 shots with White collecting six.
“I think I got a star in a preseason game three or four years ago,” White said. “I had a pretty good game but it’s nice to be back and get a W. Getting Weiser in here brought excitement and I was glad to be back in the lineup and we were both trying to keep up with Bourny.”
Weise, who grew up as a Canadiens’ fan in Winnipeg, said his biggest problem was getting a pregame nap.
“My father kept calling me in the afternoon and I said Dad, shouldn’t you be working (a) and (b) I’m trying to sleep here, so relax a little bit.”
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette