The Associated PressMONTREAL (AP) — As poorly as Carey Price played early in the season, he is making up for it now.
Price made 27 saves for his third win in three starts since he missed 10 games with a lower body injury, helping the Montreal Canadiens beat the slumping Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Wednesday.
The star goaltender, who began the season 3-7-1 with a 3.77 goals-against average, is 3-0-0 and has allowed only two goals on 102 shots since he returned last week.
“He’s been our best player,” forward Andrew Shaw said. “He’s calm, he’s cool, he’s making big-time saves and working hard for us.
“We’re trying to do the same for him. Even when they dump it in he’s like a third defenseman for us, moving the puck and getting it out of our end.”
Jonathan Drouin scored on his first NHL penalty shot and Phillip Danault also had a goal for Montreal, which ended a three-game homestand.
Mark Stone scored his 14th goal for Ottawa, which has lost seven straight games for its longest drought since also going 0-6-1 from Jan. 21 to Feb. 7, 2012.
The Senators have not won since sweeping a pair of games from Colorado in Stockholm, Sweden, on Nov. 10-11.
The Senators had chances, but couldn’t score on three power plays in the second period.
“We played pretty well right from the start of the game,” forward Zack Smith said. “You could tell it was two desperate teams. ... If we had capitalized on any one of the power plays we would have won. But same thing. A couple of missed assignments. A couple of lapses, and that’s the NHL. That will cost you the game.”
Ottawa goalie Mike Condon, pressed into service by Montreal when Price missed most of the 2015-16 season with an injury, started against his former team for the first time and finished with 29 saves.
“I moved on pretty quickly after everything happened,” Condon said of facing the Canadiens. “It’s always fun coming into this building.”