for this game

Leclaire, Blue Jackets blank Canadiens

Feb 24, 2008 - 5:24 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- With his parents in attendance, Pascal Leclaire stopped all 31 shots he faced to record his 10th career shutout as the Columbus Blue Jackets skated to a 3-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Manny Malhotra had a goal and an assist and All-Star Rick Nash and Andrew Murray also tallied for Columbus, which improved to 3-2-0 in its last five games.

A native of Quebec, Leclaire stopped 11 shots in the first period, 12 in the second and eight in the third to post his league-leading ninth shutout of the season.

"I probably could have used more tickets, but the credit card was full," Leclaire said. "It's tough here. A sold-out crowd and it was a special night."

Prior to the game, Montreal honored former player and current general manager Bob Gainey by raising his No. 23 to the rafters at the Bell Centre. Gainey became the 14th player in the history of hockey's most storied franchise to have his number retired.

But Nash quickly changed the fans' mood, scoring the only goal the Blue Jackets needed 6:24 into the first period.

Michael Peca fired a cross-slot pass to Nash, who wristed it past rookie goaltender Carey Price for his 33rd goal of the season and fifth in seven games. For Peca, it was his eighth assist in his last 10 contests.

"You know what? It just created a really fun environment in there," Peca said. "There was a point there in the second period where they got a 5-on-3 power play and (Leclaire) made some really good saves for us.

"The goaltending that we've had this year - it's a shame that we haven't won more games for them because both (Leclaire and Fredrik Norrena) have given us the opportunity to win a lot more games."

Murray doubled the advantage just over 3 1/2 minutes later.

Malhotra skated into the offensive zone before feeding Murray in the left faceoff circle. The 26-year-old quickly wristed the puck past Price for his fourth goal of the campaign.

"We made a couple of mistakes early on in the game, and they capitalized on them," Canadiens captain Saku Koivu said. "We knew coming into this game we were facing a team that wouldn't give us a lot. They are a very effective team when they have a lead. It was kind of a plan they had going, and we just didn't get it going offensively.

"After the first 10 minutes, it just felt like we didn't have that jump that we've had lately. It was just a flat effort by the whole team."

Montreal defenseman Mike Komisarek agreed with Koivu's assessment.

"We're guys that take pride in playing good defensively, but we were out there two or three shifts and a couple of shots were in the back of our net," Komisarek said. "I know we can be better, and we're going to be better. Just put it behind us and try to regroup.

"It's disheartening. We've had success early on, but the bar has to be set higher now, and it's going to be tougher to win no matter who we play against."

With 3:18 remaining in the third, Malhotra capped the scoring by backhanding the puck past Price.

"I can accept losing and goals against when teams are working for it," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "But when we give them away, it's a different thing. We can use Xs and Os and try to find a system that works. It's tough, though. I've never seen a team shut down with no shots during a game."

Price finished with 19 saves for the Canadiens, who have lost two straight since posting an historic comeback victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

"Teams are coming in here and challenging us, and we aren't responding right now," Price said. "That's what I think, and that has nothing to do with confidence."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 2 0 1 3
    MONTREAL 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - RICK NASH 33 (MICHAEL PECA, FREDRIK MODIN) 6:24
    COB - ANDREW MURRAY 4 (MANNY MALHOTRA, DAVID VYBORNY) 10:01
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: COB - MANNY MALHOTRA 6 (UNASSISTED) 16:42
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: COB - 0 OF 3,

    Feb 23 9:57 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 3
    MONTREAL 0
    3RD PRD: COB - MANNY MALHOTRA 6 (UNASSISTED) 16:42

    Blue Jackets vs. CanadiensFeb 23 9:53 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 2 0 2
    MONTREAL 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - RICK NASH 33 (MICHAEL PECA, FREDRIK MODIN) 6:24
    COB - ANDREW MURRAY 4 (MANNY MALHOTRA, DAVID VYBORNY) 10:01
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COB 6

    Feb 23 9:07 PM
  • 10
    roots
    jonyboy26 Added 5 roots

    Blue Jackets 2, Canadiens 0  2nd - 9:27Feb 23 8:51 PM
  • 5
    roots
    mrman226 Added 5 roots

    Blue Jackets vs. CanadiensFeb 23 10:12 AM