Game 18: Price, Habs blank Flyers

Canadiens goalie Carey Price makes an acrobatic save Tuesday night vs. the Philadelphia Flyers.
Phil Carpenter, Gazette

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PAT HICKEY
The Gazette

Defenceman
Andrei Markov may be out of the lineup for an indefinite period but the
Canadiens didn’t miss a beat Tuesday night as they defeated the
Philadelphia Flyers 3-0 behind a superb goaltending performance from
Carey Price.

Price made 41 saves for his third shutout of the
season as outduelled the Flyers’ rookie goaltending sensation Sergei
Bobrovsky to boost his record to 11-5-1. The Flyers arrived in Montreal
as the second-highest scoring team in the National Hockey League but
failed to score despite outshooting the Canadiens 41-28..

Special
teams played a key role as the Canadiens extended their current winning
streak to four games. The Canadiens scored during a five-on-three
advantage in the first period and denied the Flyers when they had a
similar advantage in the second period.

Michael Cammalleri, who
was playing the point on the power play in Markov’s absence, opened the
scoring when he jumped into the high slot and took a pass Brian Gionta
at 9:36 of the first period.

Gionta completed a three-point night
when he scored a power-play goal at 6:24 of the third period. His pass
from behind the net went in off the skate of Philadelphia defenceman
Kimmo Timomen. Kimmo

The Canadiens were 1-for-7 on the night and
have gone 8-for-22 over the past four games. The Flyers went 0-for-5
against a Montreal penalty-killing unit that ranks No. 2 in the NHL.

Tomas
Plekanec gave the Canadiens a 2-0 lead when he scored from the faceoff
circle to the left of Bobrovsky at 13:48 of the second period. Plekanec
pulled up in front of Timonen and appeared to be looking to pass the
puck and he caught Bobrovsky by surprise with his shot.

Before
the game, the Canadiens announced that Markov suffered an injury to his
right knee Saturday when he had a knee-to-knee collision with Carolina’s
Eric Staal. A team spokesman described it as a “long-term” injury. A
more precise prognosis should be available on the weekend after Markov
confers with Dr. Anthony Miniaci at the Cleveland Clinic.

Miniaci,
an Ontario native and a longtime Canadiens fan, operated on Markov this
year after the defenceman suffered torn ligaments in the right knee in
the second-round playoff series against Pittsburgh.

Alexandre
Picard replaced Markov and showed no rust after seven games as a healthy
scratch. He was plus-1 for the night and is plus-8 for the season.

The
Canadiens played most of the third period without Jeff Halpern, who was
drilled into the boards by Darroll Powe. There was no penalty on the
play but Maxim Lapierre tried to exact retribution when he challenged
Darroll Powe to a fight. Both players received five-minute fighting
majors even though Powe was the only one to land a punch.

The
Canadiens continue their current home stand Thursday, when they face
Nashville. The struggling Toronto Maple Leafs are at the Bell Centre on
Saturday.

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