Milestone in sight for Price as Canadiens visit Senators
By defeating the Ottawa Senators, Price will record victory number 289, same as Patrick Roy and behind only Jacques Plante, who won 314 games.
It will be the 563rd game for Price, while Roy played 551 and Plante played 556.
“That’s a statistic I can definitely be proud of,” Price told reporters after practice on Friday, per NHL.com. “I’ve played with a lot of great hockey players and on a lot of good teams in my career. It helped me along the way to get here. There are a lot of people in my life who have helped me get to this point, and I’m very grateful for all of them.”
Plagued by injuries in two of the past three seasons, the 31-year old Price has looked sharp through four starts in 2018-19. Into Ottawa he takes a 2-1-1 record with a 2.24 goals against average and .912 save percentage, giving the Canadiens (4-1-1) a little bit of their swagger back.
“He’s a dominant player that other teams have to prepare for,” Brendan Gallagher, who has been teammates with Price for his entire, seven-season career, told NHL.com. “With him, it’s come to a point where you just expect brilliance every single night. He’s been through some ups and downs, he’s dealt with adversity, but he’s handled it as well as anyone can. What he’s meant to this team and organization is impressive. It’s fun to be his teammate.”
The Canadiens have won their last three games defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings and, on Wednesday, downing the St. Louis Blues 3-2.
The Senators (3-2-1) have won two in a row, beating the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars by scores of 5-1 and 4-1, respectively.
The Senators suffered a significant injury Monday against the Stars, however.
Impressive first round pick Brady Tkachuk tore a leg ligament during the first period – but finished the game – and is expected to miss a month. Taking his place alongside Chris Tierney and Mark Stone on a line that was enjoying success will be Ryan Dzingel, who missed the last two games with a lower body injury.
Dzingel, the team’s co-goal scoring leaders last season with 23, had two goals and two assists in four outings before coming out of the lineup.
“We had a lot of time off,” Dzingel said. “It was just a precautionary thing to make sure it didn’t stretch out for the whole season. I feel a lot better now.
“It was a full team decision and I’m glad they helped me out with that. Guys who are playing don’t want to take time off, so it’s hard to say yes to that. But it was a good idea.”
The fact that the Canadiens and Senators are off to winning starts is unexpected in what is considered a transition year for both teams but Ottawa coach Guy Boucher doesn’t see the Canadiens that way, however.
“They’ve played terrific, but I’m not surprised,” Boucher said. “When I sit in my office and look at their lineup, I don’t know why people were not expecting them to be good. They’ve got four solid lines of good hockey players that are coming at you, with a terrific goaltender.”