Forward lines and defense pairings
Byron – Drouin – Galchenyuk
Pacioretty – Danault – Shaw
Hudon – Plekanec – Gallagher
Deslauriers – De La Rose – Froese
Alzner – Petry
Benn – Morrow
Jerabek – Mete
David Schlemko – hand, Ales Hemsky – concussion, Nikita Scherbak – knee, Carey Price – lower-body, Al Montoya – concussion, Artturi Lehkonen – lower-body, Shea Weber – lower-body
Ca-REY, Ca-REY! The chants filled the Bell Centre loud and often.
It was like everything up to this game was just the pre-season. Carey Price triumphantly returned to the lineup, making 36 saves for the 40th shutout of his career.
Price made hard saves look easy, smothered rebounds, and handled the puck like no other goaltender can. The best goaltender in the world once again took his throne. Price controlled the pace of this game making each one of his defenseman play better and more confidently.
Without Shea Weber in the lineup, Price was the quarterback casting the rather large shadow for his D corps. Jeff Petry stepped up both defensively and offensively with his third goal of the season. Jakub Jerabek is smart, is making good decisions with the puck and is adapting to the smaller ice.
Alex Galchenyuk and Jonathan Drouin continue to prove that they have chemistry. Paul Byron stepped in tonight as the third member of the top trio. Buffalo had their hands full dealing with the line of Tomas Plekanec, Brendan Gallagher and Charles Hudon.
The asterisk that no one wants to talk about is that the opponent was the Sabres. But a shutout by their franchise player was the best way to put an end to the five game losing streak. It was the 40th shutout of Price’s career putting him just six behind Ken Dryden on the Canadiens all-time list.
The competition will get tougher with Columbus at the Bell Centre on Monday. But help is on the way from Laval in the person of David Schlemko. The 30-year-old defenseman played two weekend games for the Laval Rocket as a conditioning stint. Schlemko admitted that Friday’s game was a little rough but he seemed to be getting comfortable in the Saturday matinee.
▲ Carey Price, Alex Galchenyuk, Jonathan Drouin, Paul Byron, Jeff Petry, Jakub Jerabek
▼ Nicolas Deslauriers, Byron Froese