TORONTO (AP)—George Gillett sat down beside his 20-year-old goalie and chatted with him as though they were old friends.
Price stopped 37 shots, and the Canadiens rallied for a 4-3 overtime win Tuesday night over the rival Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I just treated it like another game,” Price, shrugging his shoulders, said of his first career start against Toronto. “I’m happy we won but it’s really just another win.”
His calm demeanor is the same on and off the ice and his older teammates are impressed.
“I like his style,” said forward Alex Kovalev, who had a three-point night. “I like that kid. He’s so calm. he’s got a nice future.”
Price allowed the Canadiens to hang around in a game they had no business being in, outshot 40-25 by the Maple Leafs.
“Pricey made some huge saves, both our goalies have been huge for us all year,” said defenseman Mike Komisarek, who netted the winner in overtime.
Komisarek scored 35 seconds into overtime on a clear breakaway from his own blue line with the teams playing 3-on-3.
“I looked over my shoulder and saw it was just me and (goalie) Andrew Raycroft,” said Komisarek, who scored his second goal of the season. “I tried not to get too fancy.”
Komisarek intercepted Bryan McCabe’s errant pass at the Montreal blue line and skated in on a breakaway, beating Raycroft with a forehand deke between the pads to the delight of the many Canadiens fans in the Air Canada Centre.
“I had my chance and I jumped,” Komisarek said. “And the rest is history.”
Just moments earlier, McCabe nearly won the game but his blast was stopped by Price.
“I just tried to one-touch it to Nikky (Antropov),” McCabe said. “Five seconds earlier I could have been the hero. I had a great chance. But that’s how it goes.”
“They beat us in our building last time so it was nice to beat them here in this building,” said Kovalev, who tallied his ninth of the season.
The teams took turns dominating in the opening two periods, Montreal coming out strong but found goalie Andrew Raycroft more than up to the challenge.
He couldn’t turn aside Markov’s shot during a 5-on-3 power play as Montreal took a 1-0 lead at 13:43.
The Leafs turned the table in the second, completely controlling the play. Wellwood tied it 2:01 into the period, flipping a shot over Price after a super rush from Jiri Tlusty. It was Wellwood’s first of the season.
Toronto kept pressing but Price made several dazzling saves, including during a 5-on-3 man advantage for the Leafs.
Wellwood finally beat him again with 1:34 to go in the second period, putting a rebound over a sprawled Price with 2 seconds left on a roughing penalty to Markov.
The Canadiens, however, came out charging on the very next shift. Alexei Kovalev set up a wide-open Kostitsyn, who one-timed a shot top corner and glove side at 19:09 to tie it 2-2.
The Leafs continued to press in the third period and went ahead at 9:44 when Ian White’s point shot was deflected by Devereaux.
Montreal tied it 3-3 at 13:58 when Tomas Plekanec went flying around the Leafs defense. From behind the net, he found Kovalev in the slot for a shot past Raycroft into the top corner. That gave Kovalev a three-point night.
Montreal veteran Bryan Smolinski left the game with a facial injury with 5:45 to go in the second period, but he returned in the third.
The Canadiens lost rugged forward Garth Murray on waivers to Florida. … The Leafs were without D Pavel Kubina (knee) and Carlo Colaiacovo (knee) while forwards Wade Belak, Chad Kilger and John Pohl were healthy scratches. … D Staffan Kronwall, recalled from the AHL Toronto Marlies on Monday, played in his first NHL game of the season.