VANCOUVER, B.C. – Carey Price made 39 saves and Lars Eller got credit for a bizarre short-handed winner in the Montreal Canadiens’ 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.
Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec and Josh Gorges also scored for Montreal.
Henrik Sedin scored for Vancouver, which got 34 saves from Roberto Luongo. He also stopped Pacioretty on a third-period penalty shot.
The winner came in the second period, with the score tied at 1 and the Canadiens killing a penalty. Canucks defensemen Dan Hamhuis and Jason Garrison got tangled up behind the Vancouver net on a breakout, with the puck caroming into the crease and off both of Luongo’s skates before dribbling over the line at 16:12.
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Eller, who wasn’t even in the Canucks’ zone at the time of the goal, was the last Canadiens player to touch the puck for a Montreal team that didn’t score a short-handed goal all last season or through the first four games of this season.
Apart from that blooper-reel goal, the story for much of the game was the play of Price and Luongo, with the pair matching each other save for save at times.
Down 2-1 after Eller’s goal late in the second period, Luongo kept the Canucks (3-3) in it early in the third, including a stick save on Pacioretty’s penalty-shot try after the forward was hooked down by Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa.
But the Canadiens (3-2) extended their lead at 6:46 of the third period as Plekanec scored on the power play.
• The San Jose Sharks and Colorado each improved to a league-best 5-0. The Sharks beat visiting Ottawa 3-2 and the Avalanche won 5-1 at Washington.