Carey Price has been on another plane of existence during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and in Game 3 against Vegas he found another level to rise to. He stopped 43 of 45 shots to earn the win, and he did so with his team generating only eight shots through 40 minutes of play. The first goal against was a play Eric Staal would like back immediately as his errant pass to the net-front allowed Nicolas Roy to lift his shot by Price.
Alex Pietrangelo managed to fool Price in the third period, with a low shot just making it over his pad and under his blocker.
This then became a defining moment for the Canadiens, not only just in the game, but possibly for the entire playoffs as well. The Golden Knights, still firmly in control, kept storming down the ice, and had a chance to ice the game right at their fingertips. Max Pacioretty put a perfect feed right to the stick of Alex Tuch at the top of Price’s crease, an easy tap-in that Vegas should have converted to go up 3-1 midway through the final period.
But that’s not what happened, because Price for the second straight night, pulled an absolutely miraculous save out of his back pocket, kicking his pad out and robbing the Knights of a goal.
After that save, the Canadiens found their energy and new life in the game, pushing hard to salvage something for their goalie, who had done just about everything in his power to give his team that chance.
At the other end of the ice, Marc-Andre Fleury did quite the opposite, gifting the game-tying goal to Josh Anderson, and then surrendering the winner to Anderson in overtime as well.
A lot of fans have drawn some parallels to the 1993 Canadiens team, others to the 2014 club, and plenty to the team from 2010. While it’s hard to pin down where they fall exactly on that scale of teams, this was Carey Price’s 2010 Jaroslav Halak moment in the playoffs. We’ve seen Price steal games or portions of them so far, but for the nearly 73 minutes he played on Friday, it was all about him. He was hounded right from puck drop, and even when the team was trailing, it was Price there to slam the door shut.
There’s still plenty of series left to play against the Golden Knights, but when someone with the reputation of Price puts on a show like he did in Game 3, it starts to make teams second guess a lot more.