Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Price Offers Reminder of Dominance as Canadiens Beat Leafs in Season Opener

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Price Offers Reminder of Dominance as Canadiens Beat Leafs in Season Opener

Article excerpt

Price dominates as Habs beat Leafs in opener

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TORONTO - Carey Price got to go through the game-day routine he's comfortable with and looked like he hadn't missed a beat from his MVP season.

The reigning Hart and Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender made 36 saves as the Montreal Canadiens beat the much-improved Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 Wednesday night in the season opener at Air Canada Centre.

It was the kind of dominance that has become commonplace for Price.

"We're used to that," said captain Max Pacioretty, who scored on the team's first shot of the game and added an empty-netter. "We definitely relied on him a little bit too much tonight, but that's what we're used to. He plays that way every night."

Price was the difference on a night the Leafs carried the play for long stretches and got 37 shots to Montreal's 30. Alex Galchenyuk delivered the game-winning goal in the third period.

"We obviously would've liked to maintain a little bit more offensive-zone pressure," Price said. "But at the end of the day it worked for us, and we'll definitely take the win."

Mike Babcock didn't just want to accept the loss, but his players put forth a strong performance in his first regular-season game as coach.

"There's no moral victories in the NHL," Babcock said. "You either won or you lost. It's real simple that way. But obviously the process is there, and they're trying."

Habs players recognized the Leafs as a much more difficult opponent under Babcock than in previous seasons. But they were more concerned with their own play, which Pacioretty described as having flashes of positives but featuring plenty to work on.

Just because the recipe worked didn't make the Habs all too happy.

"We don't want to allow 40 shots every night," said defenceman P.K. Subban, who appeared to injure his left leg when he was boarded by Leo Komarov but stayed in the game. "We started the game with some zip and then they sort of pushed back and we just ever really got our system going consistently throughout the game. …

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