Price will guard the home goal Thursday against the Hurricanes. Price took part in Tuesday's game against the Wild on what was expected to be his night off due to Antti Niemi letting in seven goals during the contest. No matter, Price was perfect in relief and is riding a three-game winning streak into Thursday's contest. He should be a major player from a daily perspective against a Hurricanes club that pelts opposing goalies with a league-high 38.4 shots per game while converting just 2.45 into goals each night.
Price took over for Antti Niemi after Montreal's backup netminder allowed seven goals on 24 shots in a 7-1 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday. Price stopped all nine shots fired his way. Coach Claude Julien had planned on giving Price the night off, electing to start Niemi for the first time since Nov. 23. Playing behind a disinterested team finishing up a three-game road trip, Niemi was hung out to dry, resulting in Julien turning to his starting netminder midway through the third period, in the process delivering a not-so-subtle message to his young team. Price was perfect, admittedly, in a game well out of reach at his time of entry. Expect Price to get the start Thursday versus Carolina. He lost his only other start against the Hurricanes this season, a 2-1 loss back on Nov. 27. The 31-year-old's record will not be impacted by Tuesday's result.
Coach Claude Julien is considering giving Price a break Tuesday against the Wild, Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette reports. Julien is mulling over his options, but would like to prevent backup Antti Niemi from getting rusty. Price has started seven straight -- looking like vintage Price during that run -- and there isn't a back-to-back set on the schedule until Dec. 19 and 20.
Price made 37 saves in a 3-2 victory over Chicago on Sunday. Price was particularly exceptional in the game's final period, making 17 saves on his way to a third straight victory. He completely stymied the Blackhawks which allowed Tomas Tatar to score his 12th goal of the season with less than two minutes left on the clock. Tatar's marker would wind up being the difference Sunday. The result moves Price's record to 11-8-4 with a 2.92 GAA and .902 save percentage. While the numbers are still well below what we've come to expect from the 31-year-old, Price is starting to look like his old self again.
Price will start in goal Sunday evening against host Chicago, Jean-Francois Chaumont of Le Journal de Montreal reports. This will be the seventh straight start for Price, who is 10-8-4 with a 2.96 GAA and .900 save percentage over 22 games this season. Those numbers definitely don't scream "elite," but let it be known that Price is about to face a Blackhawks team that has lost six straight games to fall into last place within the Central Division.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||41||21||16||3||2420||103||2||2.55||1||230.6|