Habs Game Report: Sharks Chase Price From Net in 4-2 lopsided Win
The bottom line: The Canadiens concentrated on the power play in practice this week, but they should have devoted more time to the penalty kill. The San Jose Sharks scored two power-play goals in the first period and cruised to a 4-2 victory Friday night at the Bell Centre. Goaltender Carey Price was yanked after giving up four goals on 18 shots.
Where they’re at: The Canadiens, who had collected points in five consecutive games (3-0-2) since their last regulation loss (2-1 in San Jose on Dec. 2), continue to lead the Atlantic Division with a seven-point edge on Boston and Ottawa. The Sharks opened a two-point lead over Anaheim atop the Pacific Division.
A case of the shorts: The Canadiens were short-handed three times in the first nine minutes and the Sharks took advantage with two power-play goals. David Schlemko opened the scoring with a wrist shot from the wall. Price had trouble seeing the puck because he was screened by Kevin Labanc, who was fighting for position in front of the net. It was Schlemko’s first goal this season. Patrick Marleau made it 2-0 when he scored from the slot on a power play at 9:00. Joe Thornton established position behind the net and, when Alexei Emelin dropped down to check him, Marleau was left alone in front.
Impressive debut: Timo Meier was playing his first NHL game and the 20-year-old Swiss winger has something to write home about after scoring his first NHL goal on his first NHL shot. Meier picked up a loose puck in front and beat Price with a backhander to give San Jose a 3-0 lead at 13:18. The Sharks outshot the Canadiens 15-4 in the first period.
Early exit for Price: Al Montoya replaced Price after Melker Karlsson gave the Sharks a 4-0 lead at 6:44 of the second period. Price gave up four goals on 18 shots and his body language as he left the ice suggested he wasn’t happy about the situation. Montoya faced only five shots and stopped them all.
No shutout for Jones: San Jose goaltender Martin Jones lost his shutout at 10:28 of the third period when Brian Flynn scored off the rush after San Jose lost the puck in the neutral zone. And Jeff Petry made the final result seem respectable when he scored from the blue line at 13:48.
Injuries mounting: Andrew Shaw was scratched late Friday afternoon with concussion-like symptoms. Shaw was hit in the head by defenceman Torey Krug in the first period of Monday’s game against the Bruins. He underwent the concussion protocol at that time, but returned to the ice. He complained of neck pains during the week. The Shaw injury opened a spot in the lineup for Sven Andrighetto, but he played only two shifts before leaving the game with an upper-body injury.
Coming attractions: The Canadiens venture to Washington to face the Capitals on Saturday (7 p.m., CITY-TV, TVA Sports, TSN-690 Radio). They are back home to face Anaheim on Tuesday and Minnesota on Thursday before wrapping up their pre-Christmas schedule with a visit to Columbus on Friday.