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03/30/2013 11:29 PM EDT
Canadiens blank Rangers 3-0
MONTREAL 3, NY RANGERS 0

MONTREAL (AP) -- Carey Price and a strong Canadiens defense were
too much for the New York Rangers.



The Montreal goaltender made 34 saves for his third shutout of
the season and the Canadiens shut out the Rangers 3-0 on
Saturday night.



But he gave a lot of credit to his defense.



"The guys did a great job of blocking guys out," said Price, who
shut out New York for the second time this season while posting
his 19th of his career. "I saw most of the shots and the ones I
didn't just seemed to hit me.



"They had a few scoring chances, but they cleared a lot of
garbage and blocked a lot of shots."



Michael Ryder and Tomas Plekanec scored in the first period and
Brendan Gallagher got one in the second for the Canadiens, who
swept their three games with New York this season, outscoring
the Rangers 9-1.



The Canadiens moved three points ahead of Boston for first place
in the Northeast Division.



Price bounced back after allowing four goals in two periods to
the Bruins in what turned out to be a 6-5 shootout victory in
Boston on Wednesday night. Backup Peter Budaj got the win that
night.



"That was a tough game, but that happens in hockey," Price said.
"The move was justified and it worked out for us. We don't
really need to go back on that game too much."



P.K. Subban had three assists to give him 27 points in 28 games,
tied for second in the league among defensemen behind
Pittsburgh's Kris Letang. Subban wasn't surprised to see Price
rebound with a big performance.



"To be honest, I thought it was a pretty routine game for him,"
Subban said. "The thing about Price is he makes the saves look
easy.



"A lot of them weren't. But no one's surprised here. He's one of
the best goaltenders in the league. For me, it was just another
game for him."



The Rangers, the NHL's lowest-scoring team, were coming off a
3-0 shutout loss in Ottawa on Thursday night. Once again, they
failed to score for goalie Martin Biron, who has seen his team
shut out in his past four starts in Montreal since 2011.



They had chances, particularly in the first period when they had
17 shots on goal, but nothing went in. Derek Stepan had a chance
to score into an open side on a rebound during a first-period
power play, but Alexei Elemin got a piece of stick and the shot
sailed high.



J.T. Miller had two good chances foiled by Price, while Ryan
Callahan had five shots.



New York is on the bubble for a playoff spot and is back on the
ice Monday night at home against another team in the same
situation, Winnipeg.



"We have to stay positive," Rangers coach John Tortorella said.
"We'll try to correct some things that are going wrong, but
we'll work on the positives.



"We developed some scoring chances and just didn't score."



The Rangers were expected to be an elite team in the Eastern
Conference this season, but they need to find their game with 14
games left in the lockout-shortened season.



"We skated hard," Tortorella said. "We forechecked and developed
scoring chances.



"But we can't have any moral victories here. We need to finish
at key times. We have to change momentum our way."



The Rangers' offensive woes continued through the first period
as the Canadiens grabbed an early 2-0 lead.



Ryder was buying time for his team during a line change when he
played a puck off the end boards. It hit the side of the net and
came right back to him to slide in for his fifth goal in the
past five games only 47 seconds in.



Subban came out of the penalty box to join a 2-on-1 break, but
Plekanec opted to shoot and picked the far corner at 18:11.



Montreal was on a power play in the second period when Subban's
point shot caused a melee in front of Biron until Gallagher dug
the puck out and lifted it over the fallen goalie at 11:02.



First-round draft pick Nathan Beaulieu made his NHL debut on
defense and looked nervous at times, but the 20-year-old got one
shot on goal in 17:17 of ice time, including some power play
time. It was more playing time than two other rookie defensemen
- Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn - got in games when they were
called up from AHL Hamilton earlier this month.



"Nathan played a solid game," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien
said. "He made some good passes.



"Defensively he wasn't out of place. For a first game, we're
pleased."



Marian Gaborik's demotion to the fourth line lasted one shift.
Then he joined Brad Richards' unit.



Notes: The Canadiens put defenseman Tomas Kaberle on waivers,
perhaps to free space for a trade before Wednesday's deadline.
... Brandon Prust returned after missing eight games with a
shoulder injury. ... The Rangers gave Biron the start after
Henrik Lundqvist, who struggles against Montreal, played nine
straight. ... Mats Zuccarello, who returned to New York this
week from the KHL, played his first game back with his former
club.

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