Carey Price is back in net for the Montreal Canadiens, their losing streak is over, and it seems as though the team may be heading in the right direction.
However, they don't have an easy task ahead, as the Columbus Blue Jackets return to the Bell Centre on Monday night, and are hoping to keep their strong play going.
The Canadiens (9-12-3) had lost five straight games before shutting out the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 on Saturday night. Forwards Paul Byron and Alex Galchenyuk each had a goal and an assist in the victory. All-star goaltender Carey Price, who hadn't played since November 2, returned to his usual form, stopping 36 Sabres shots en route to his first shutout of the season, and 40th of his illustrious NHL career.
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Tale of the Tape
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Their counterpart in the Blue Jackets (15-7-1) are riding a season-high six-game winning streak, having not lost since a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes on November 10.
Part of their winning streak includes a 2-1 overtime victory against the Canadiens back on November 14. Defenceman Zach Werenski got a wrist shot past Canadiens rookie goaltender Charlie Lindgren to win the game just over a minute into the extra frame.
Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has also won his last five starts, including two shutouts. Last year's Vezina Trophy winner has 14 wins, second most in the entire NHL.
The Habs blue line has come under scrutiny lately with all-star Shea Weber having not played in three straight games, out with a lower-body injury. In his place, Czech defenceman Jakub Jerabek was called up from the Laval Rocket and has skated in two games, being a +2 on the scorecard.
The Canadiens are led in goals by Brendan Gallagher with nine, while the points lead goes to Jonathan Drouin with 15. The Blue Jackets lead tally is the eight goals scored by Josh Anderson, and Artemi Panarin has equalled Drouin's 15 points.
If Price's first game was any indication of how the team will fare for the rest of the season, things could get very interesting, and should be entertaining to watch.