Sekac, Price lead Canadiens past Kings despite huge shot deficit
The Los Angeles Kings were all over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night. The defending Stanley Cup champions just didn't have much to show for it.
With his team getting outplayed on the ice in front of him, Cary Price had a season-high 44 saves to lead the Canadiens to a 6-2 victory over the Kings.
"There was a little bit of (Dominik) Hasek in net today, a little bit of Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur and a little bit of Carey Price," Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban said,
"He's a great goaltender and he has the ability to make great saves," Subban added. "It's not a surprise to us seeing him do that but to be able to see him do it against one of the best teams in the league, that's what we need."
Jiri Sekac scored two goals, P.K. Subban had a goal and two assists, David Desharnais and Andre Markov each had a goal and an assist, and Sven Andrighetto also scored for Montreal, which has won two straight.
"We were definitely opportunistic," Price said. "We capitalized on the few chances we got. ... That's a good hockey club over there. They played well. The score doesn't indicate how the game went. We'll take the two points, obviously."
Defensemen Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty scored for the Kings, who have lost three of their last four. Back-up goalie Martin Jones finished with 14 saves. Jones, coming off shutouts in his previous two starts, gave up three goals on the first eight shots he faced.
Price made save after brilliant save until Muzzin finally got the Kings on the scoreboard at 3:35 of the third period.
The Kings outshot the Canadiens 14-4 in the first period but trailed 1-0.
Doughty had served only 4 seconds of an interference call when Tomas Plekanec won a draw to the point, and Subban's point shot beat Jones at 8:16 off a deflection in front. It ended Jones' shutout streak at 154 minutes, 17 seconds.
Montreal didn't get a shot the rest of the period.
"We had a lot of really good chances," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "We totally dominated the first period. I think Carey Price was really, really good, wasn't he?"
The Kings have been struggling to score this season with top players like Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik and Dustin Brown all well below their usual scoring pace.
After a five-goal outburst in a win at Ottawa the previous night, the frustration returned in Montreal.
"We had the puck a lot and we created a lot, but no goals at the end of it," Muzzin said. "You need goals to win. I thought we battled back and stuck with it and continued trying to fight and get some more goals. It just wasn't happening."
The Canadiens had a man advantage to start the second and Markov scored on a point shot that was deflected at 1:01. Just 2:44 later, Subban one-timed a drop pass from Dale Weise and saw the puck trickle through Jones's pads to make it 3-0. Manny Malhotra got his first point in 31 games as a Canadien on the goal.
"There was a flurry in the second period, it was just desperation," Price said, recalling his busiest moments. "There was one in the first on Drew. He got me back in the third. ... Just playing the odds and getting lucky out there. Just trying to keep it simple, stupid."
After Muzzin scored on the Kings' 34th shot with wrister from the point that went in off Markov's hand, Desharnais scored his first goal in 13 games since Nov. 15 when he one-timed P.A. Parenteau's pass on a 2-on-1 at 9:47 of the third.
Just 1:01 later, Doughty beat Price cleanly with a shot from the right side. To make it 4-2.
Andrighetto was alone in the right circle to swipe in Michael Bournival's pass with 6:01 left, giving the Swiss rookie one point in each of his first three NHL games. Sekac got another with 4:34 remaining on a bad-angled shot with Jones down.
"Sometimes quality over quantity is more important," Price said. "I thought we did a good job of picking up the rebounds in front. They didn't get a whole lot of second chances."
NOTES: Jones made 31 saves when the Kings won 6-0 on their last visit to Montreal last December. ... Parenteau went off late in the first period after being clipped in an eye by Marian Gaborik's stick, but was back to start the second. ... Montreal's Brandon Prust got an assist in his 400th NHL game. He has 31 goals, 98 points and 907 penalty minutes. ... The Canadiens sent Eric Tangradi down to the American Hockey League's Hamilton Bulldogs after the game.