Canadiens Goalie Price Wins NHL Debut

Thursday, October 11th 2007, 8:45 am
By: News On 6

Exactly 22 years after Patrick Roy made his NHL debut for the Montreal Canadiens in Pittsburgh, Carey Price got his chance to do the same thing.

Price evoked memories of Roy in his debut, stopping 26 shots in the Canadiens' 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

``It hasn't really hit me yet,'' the 20-year-old Price said. ``It's pretty exciting.''

Price's NHL debut was an event that was highly anticipated across Canada after he earned national fame by leading the national team to the World Junior Championship last season, earning MVP honors in the process. The former No. 5 overall pick of the Canadiens also was goaltender of the year in the juniors last season and then led Hamilton to the AHL championship last spring.

Mark Recchi had two assists and Ryan Whitney and Maxime Talbot scored for Pittsburgh.

``The kid played pretty well, obviously made some big saves,'' Whitney said. ``He won the game for them.''

In other NHL games Wednesday night, it was: the New York Islanders 2, the New York Rangers 1; Ottawa 3, Atlanta 1; Columbus 3, Phoenix 0; Detroit 4, Calgary 2; Tampa Bay 2, Florida 1; Minnesota 2, Edmonton 0; San Jose 2, Chicago 1; Dallas 5, Los Angeles 1; St. Louis 4, Nashville 1; Anaheim 2, Boston 1; and Philadelphia 8, Vancouver 2.

At Pittsburgh, Price said he was more relaxed for Wednesday's game than he had been at the World Juniors or in the AHL Calder Cup finals.

``If you look at the way he played in the past, like in the World Juniors, he played really well and in Hamilton ... when it was time to close a series, he was there and played well,'' Montreal coach Gui Carbonneau said. ``And tonight was one of those games.''

Canadiens Hall of Fame goalies Ken Dryden and Roy also made their NHL debuts against the Penguins _ Roy's first game was a 5-3 victory on Oct. 10, 1985.

``I read it in the game notes,'' Price said. ``It's kind of a coincidence. It's kind of weird that's how that worked out.''

Price, taken four spots behind Penguins star Sidney Crosby at the 2005 draft, stopped the reigning NHL scoring champion at least twice during a flurry in front of his net and made a save on Erik Christensen from close range early in the second for two of his best stops.

``I thought he really looked confident,'' Montreal captain Saku Koivu said. ``And if he was nervous he didn't show it at all. We took some penalties in the first period so he had to get into the game right away, and he made some key saves, kept us in the game.''

Senators 3, Thrashers 1

Antoine Vermette scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, Brian Elliott won his NHL debut in goal and visiting Ottawa remained unbeaten.

The Senators improved to 5-0, just one win off the franchise record for most consecutive victories at the start of the season. Defending Southeast Division champion Atlanta has just four goals in its three losses.

Red Wings 4, Flames 2

Kris Draper's goal late in the second period broke a tie, and Chris Osgood made 19 saves in place of Dominik Hasek for host Detroit.

Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Holmstrom, and Mikael Samuelsson also scored for the Red Wings, who are 3-0-1 in their first four games. Pavel Datsyuk had two assists.

Islanders 2, Rangers 1

Bryan Berard broke a second-period tie and fellow defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron had a goal and assist for the host Islanders.

Berard, signed to a one-year deal Tuesday, gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead with a 5-on-3 power-play goal with 6:04 left in the period. Bergeron, who scored the first goal in the closing seconds of the opening frame, earned the second assist.

Blues 4, Predators 1

Paul Kariya helped beat his old team, assisting on two first-period goals as St. Louis won its home opener.

Ryan Johnson and Lee Stempniak also scored and Manny Legace had a strong game in goal for the Blues, who were 1-11-4 the last two seasons against the Predators.

Blue Jackets 3, Coyotes 0

Jared Boll scored his first NHL goal and Pascal Leclaire picked up his second shutout in as many games for host Columbus.

Jason Chimera added a goal and two assists, Manny Malhotra had a goal and an assist and Jan Hejda had two assists for the Blue Jackets.

Sharks 2 Blackhawks 1

Milan Michalek's second power-play goal of the game, with 3:31 left in the third period, snapped a tie and lifted visiting San Jose.

Chicago rookie Jonathan Toews scored on his first shot in his first NHL game to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead in the first period.

Stars 5, Kings 1

Niklas Hagman scored two goals, including one short-handed, Marty Turco stopped 32 shots and host Dallas beat Los Angeles after sweeping all three meetings last season.

Antti Miettinen, Mike Ribeiro and Joel Lundqvist added goals for the Stars.

Lightning 2, Panthers 1

Chris Gratton scored twice and Johan Holmqvist made 30 saves for host Tampa Bay, which has won its first three games for the third time in team history.

Wild 2, Oilers 0

At St. Paul, Minn., Pavol Demitra had a goal and an assist, Marian Gaborik added a pair of assists and Niklas Backstrom made 21 saves for unbeaten Minnesota.

Ducks 2, Bruins 1

At Anaheim, Calif., Ryan Getzlaf scored the tying goal and assisted on the game-winner in the third period, helping the Stanley Cup champion Ducks get their first victory in North America.

Flyers 8, Canucks 2

Mike Richards had four points to lead visiting Philadelphia.

Jeff Carter and R.J Umberger scored 13 seconds apart midway through the first, and Daniel Briere scored and set up Simon Gagne before the period ended as the Flyers built a 4-1 lead.