MONTREAL (AP) — Tomas Plekanec scored in the first period and Carey Price made 29 saves for his second shutout in a row and ninth of the season as the Montreal Canadiens beat the San Jose Sharks 2-0 on Saturday night.
Price, coming off a 4-0 win over Carolina on Thursday, earned his NHL-leading 40th victory to become the third Canadiens goalie to reach that milestone — following Jacques Plante and Ken Dryden, who share the team record with 42 wins.
Brendan Gallagher had an empty-net goal with 14 seconds left as Eastern Conference-leading Montreal (46-20-7) won its third game in a row.
Antti Niemi made 27 saves for the Sharks (35-29-8), whose chase for a Western Conference playoff spot took a hit.
The Canadiens had been shut out in their previous three meetings with the Sharks, including a 4-0 loss at San Jose on March 2. Plekanec ended a sequence of 215 minutes without a goal at 18:46 of the opening period.
After a crisscross passing sequence on a rush into the San Jose zone, Alex Galchenyuk fed Plekanec for a goal from a sharp angle.
Montreal thought it scored a goal early in the third when Alexei Emelin shot into an open side, but the officials ruled that David Desharnais had made a hand pass. Replays showed Desharnais reached for the puck with his hand, but missed.
For a second straight game, Canadiens defenseman Tom Gilbert was hit in the face by a puck, this time on Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s shot at the end of the second period. Gilbert didn’t return to the game.
NOTES: Montreal D Jeff Petry returned after missing one game due to an illness. … Two of Montreal’s minor league defense prospects are injured. Davis Drewiske (wrist surgery) is gone for the remainder of the season. Jarred Tinordi has an upper-body injury and will be re-evaluated in three weeks.
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