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Price, Habs blank Maple Leafs

Feb 13, 2011 - 4:01 AM
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Carey Price made 27 saves to record his sixth shutout of the season, as Montreal silenced Toronto, 3-0, at Bell Centre.

Price, who allowed a career-high eight goals in an 8-6 loss at Boston on Wednesday, tied Detroit's Jimmy Howard for the NHL lead with his 27th win of the season. Thanks to his perfect effort, Montreal moved within one point of the idle Bruins in the Northeast Division (69-68).

"I thought we played an excellent game. Solid the whole way through," Price noted. "That was probably the best 60 minutes we played. The two points tonight are most important. The shutout was just icing on the cake."

Brian Gionta, David Desharnais and Benoit Pouliot tallied for the Canadiens, who snapped a three-game skid.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed three goals on 39 shots for the Maple Leafs, who have dropped two in a row after winning four of five previously.

"I don't think, as a group, we were ready to compete tonight. When you come in to a building like this, against a division rival, you have to show up," said Giguere. "You have to compete in every aspect of the game. I don't think we were willing to do that for the whole 60 minutes."

The game was scoreless for just over half of its length, until Desharnais gloved down a loose puck behind Giguere and fed into the slot for Pouliot's one-timer at 10:12 of the second period.

Gionta doubled the advantage 1:40 later when he quickly potted Max Pacioretty's behind-the-back pass from the slot.

It was 3-0 for the Habs on the advantage at 6:19 of the third period when Desharnais glided through the slot and redirected a Scott Gomez feed past Giguere.

Price, who stopped a combined 18 shots in the first two periods, ended his game with nine saves in the third.

"Price made some big saves at key times. After the Islanders game (a 4-3 shootout loss on Thursday), we started to get better, but tonight, we had it right from the beginning," Gionta admitted. "Desharnais is becoming a lot more confident, and is making things happen."

Game Notes

Price now has 10 career whitewashes, including two against Toronto this year...The last time the Canadiens blanked the Maple Leafs more than one time in a season came in 1967-68, when the Habs did it three times in 10 meetings...Each club has won twice on home ice this season...This is the second of three NHL contests for the 2011 Hockey Day in Canada.