The Montreal Canadiens visited the San Jose Sharks as the best team this 2016-17 NHL season. However, Martin Jones wins the goalie battle vs. Carey Price…
The Montreal Canadiens visit with the San Jose Sharks promised to be a defensive battle Friday, Dec. 2. It did not disappoint as Martin Jones wins his 13th game—tied for most this 2016-17 NHL season—over all-world goalie Carey Price.
Montreal suffered its second straight 2-1 regulation loss in California. (It lost at the Anaheim Ducks Nov. 30.) Moreover, it has not won a visit to San Jose this entire millennium.
The Canadiens finish the Death Valley Trip with a visit to the Los Angeles Kings Sunday. The Sharks get a rare five-day weekend, not playing again until the Ottawa Senators visit this coming Wednesday.
San Jose started December against Montreal as it ended November against the Los Angeles Kings—holding on to an early lead. Price was more successful than Peter Budaj in keeping everything else out…just not as good as Jones.
The Canadiens only scored on a power play after Price was pulled in the final two minutes. They buried one of two shots with two extra skaters on but Jones was unbeatable in the other 30.
Jones made several 10-bell saves on the night. Meanwhile, the captain’s line scored both goals in the first period.
The first came on a power play. Captain Joe Pavelski sent a one-timer feed to Brent Burns 5:22 into the game.
The Sharks scored again in the final minute before intermission. Joe Thornton skated down a dumped-in puck and sent it to the crease, where Pavelski was crashing the net to redirect it past Price.
It was the 19th time in 25 games that San Jose failed to score three on a manned net, though that is no disgrace facing Price. Montreal’s hot offensive start to the 2016-17 NHL season has cooled off—just 11 goals in its last six games.
The early two-goal lead changed the game’s priorities. Thus, the event summary is skewed.
The Sharks hold all three possession advantages: 39-26 faceoffs, 20-24 giveaways and 10-5 takeaways. Yet they still have a 27-21 edge in hits, fewer shots (30-32) and attempts (51-62) as well as a small edge in blocks (15-12).
San Jose is now 9-3-0 at home during the 2016-17 NHL season and has won six of seven. Jones has now allowed exactly one goal in three straight starts, earning a .962 save percentage in those games.
Tommy Wingels returned for the Sharks, registering six hits, a shot and two wins in four faceoffs over 10:29 ice time. Melker Karlsson also recently returned from injury, leaving no room for Ryan Carpenter.
Carpenter has been now sent down to the AHL San Jose Barracuda along with Kevin Labanc. However, this is likely being done to get them action over the next few days while the team is off. One or both will probably get called back up Tuesday or Wednesday.
Labanc in particular is playing too well to reassign longterm. He has two goals and two assists in 12 career games—all this 2016-17 NHL season.