The Habs and Sabres played 50 minutes of scoreless hockey, before Pacioretty crashed the net and banged a loose puck in the net to make the score 1-0 Montreal.
The goal was the 100th in Pacioretty’s career, all with the Canadiens, tying hi with Serge Savard for 58th on the Habs all time list. The goal would hold up as Pacioretty’s 18th career game winning goal, pulling him ahead of Kirk Muller and into 37th on the Canadiens all time list.
Daniel Briere provided the insurance goal for Montreal. With just over three minutes to go he walked out in front of Sabres goaltender Matt Hackett and roofed a wrister over the shoulder of the rookie.
Price would hold off a furious late rally by the Sabres, stopping all 24 shots he faced on the night, earning his 30th win and fifth shutout of the season. It is just the second time in his NHL career that Price reached the 30 win plateau, and also the second time he earned five shutouts in a season.
The win was the 175th in Price’s Canadiens career, placing him in a tie with the legendary Georges Vezina for fifth all time in Canadiens history. The only goaltenders to win more games while wearing a Canadiens sweater now are Patrick Roy, Ken Dryden, Bill Durnan and the all time leader Jacques Plante who won 314 games with Montreal.
Price’s shutout was career number 24, and though Georges Hainsworth once collected 22 blank sheets in a season, they are a little harder to come by than they were in 1929.
Price passed Jose Theodore who had 23 shutouts with Montreal, and is the last Canadien to win the Hart Trophy. Carey now sits 7th on the Habs all time ranking, four behind Gerry McNeil and just five back of Patrick Roy.
He still has a ways to go before reeling in Hainsworth, who finished his Habs career with 78.
The Canadiens win was a bit of a snooze fest last night, but the numbers posted by Max Pacioretty and Carey Price are becoming eye popping.