It’s hard to think that a goalie could steal a win in a game that ended with a 4-1 scoreline, but taking a look at Tuesday night’s victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, that is exactly what Carey Price did. Even if we remove Brendan Gallagher’s empty net goal, the Habs were up 3-1 late, yet it’s hard to imagine the team grabbing both points without Price’s efforts.
Stopping 33 out of 34 shots is no simple task, and it’s even tougher to get the win when the goalie across from you is running one of the hottest shutout streaks in the history of his franchise. An early goal on an odd-man rush by Jake Guentzel could have easily derailed the game early, as it seemed to so often in November.
But it’s not November. Price slammed the door shut on Pittsburgh from that opening goal, helping his team overcome a dreadfully slow start to climb back into the lead and leave with the regulation win.
At five-on-five, it was a hectic night in front of Price, some of which can be attributed to score effects in the third period. The Penguins absolutely owned the final frame as the Habs hung on to their lead. Just a few short weeks ago we saw Montreal implode and lose a four-goal lead when their opponents turned on the pressure, but no cracks were formed last night.
Whether it’s from a little bit of rest or the team tightening up, Price looks like an entirely different goalie this month. In his last two games the only goals he has allowed were on a breakaway and a well-executed two-on-one. He was quietly dominant again in Pittsburgh, making the tough saves look easy and the easy stuff look like he’s hardly breaking a sweat.
It’s too early to call this season saved, but if his current form is any indication, we can likely assume Carey has more than halted a rough skid and once again helped guide the team back on track.
Maybe Price is just a big Taylor Swift fan, and he wants to go back to December all the time?