.500 road trip – at worst
On paper, this should have been the toughest challenge of the Canadiens' western road trip.
It wasn't ... because of Carey Price.
Playing in his home province, Price made 30 saves through the first 40 minutes to keep his team in the game.
The Canadiens outshot Vancouver 18-9 in the third period to cinch the win.
Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec and Josh Gorges scored their first goals of the season. Lars Eller got his fifth, a weird shorthanded score that came without a single Canadien in the Vancouver zone.
The Canucks' penalty-kill – a perfect 18/18 heading into the game – gave up two goals in the Canadiens' three power plays.
The Canadiens wrap up their western swing Tuesday in Winnipeg.
The home team was held without a shot on goal for 11 minutes.
The dominant Canadiens got a power-play goal from Tomas Plekanec and a floater from the point by Josh Gorges – first of the season for each of them.
What a weird one!
The summary says Lars Eller scored a shorthanded goal to restore the Canadiens lead.
How did Eller bag his fith of the season?
By dumping the puck down the ice.
With nary a white jersey in sight, Jason Garrison and Dan Hamhuis mishandled the puck.
It hit Roberto Luongo's left skate, caromed off his right and trickled into the net.
At the other end of the ice, Henrik Sedin had tied the game 1-1 with vancouver's 25th shot. Carey Price was left helpless by his teammates on the play.
Price has made 30 saves through two periods.
The Canadiens have 20 shots on Luongo.
Carey Price made 14 saves, including beauties on Jason Garrison (twice), Chris Tanev and Daniel Sedin.
Roberto Luongo faced nine shots and was beaten, on a trickle-through, by Max Pacioretty during a Canadiens power play.
It was the first PP goal against Vancouver this season.
Best play of the period might have been Josh Gorges' billiard-shot clear that prevented icing after the Canadiens had been bottled up in their own end at the end of the period.
Canadiens were 14-8 on faceoffs and killed off a penalty to Lars Eller.
Jarred Tinordi loked shaky in a shade over four minutes of ice time.
Home game for Price
Carey Price will have family and friends in the crowd when the Canadiens continue their western Canada road trip with a visit to Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
And there will be a familiar face behind the Canucks bench. John Tortorella, late of the Rangers and Lightning, has brought his lively personality and demanding coaching style to the west coast.
That means a lot of shot-blocking in front of goaltender Roberto "Get Me Out of Vancouver" Luongo. Forward Chris Tanev has 11 blocks, defenceman Kevin Bieksa 10. Josh Gorges tops the Canadiens with nine.
Pesky forward Alex Burrows is out of the Vancouver lineup after injuring his foot while blocking a shot. The Canucks also will be without defenceman Alex Edler, suspended for his hit on sensational San Jose rookie Tomas Hertl.
The Canadiens will be missing captain Brian Gionta, who is in Montreal seeing to personal business. Ryan White will return to the lineup on the fourth line, with Travis Moen and Michaël Bournival. Brandon Prust moves up to take Gionta's spot with David Desharnais and Rene Bourque.
• Vancouver lines at morning skate: Sedin-Sedin-Santorelli, Higgins-Kesler-Hansen, Booth-Richardson-Kassian, Dalpe-Weise-Sestito
• Carey Price is 3-1-1 lifetime against Vancouver, with a GAA of 2.56 and save percentage of .924 ... Roberto Luongo is 1-4 in his last five starts against the Canadiens ... Brendan Gallagher will be playing his first NHL game in the city where he grew up and played junior hockey with the Vancouver Giants ... The Canucks' penalty-kill is a perfect 18/18 through five games this season and has scored two shorthanded goals.