It was a record-setting night for the Montreal Canadiens and there was little suspense in getting there.
The Canadiens crushed the visiting Detroit Red Wings 5-0 on Saturday, which helped them establish two new franchise marks. The win was the Canadiens’ 10th straight at home to start a season and it was their 13th in the first 15 games of a season, new thresholds in the 99-year NHL history of the team.
According to Hockey Night In Canada, Montreal’s 13-1-1 record this season also matches the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers and 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres for the best performance after 15 games.
It seemed pretty evident early on the Canadiens were well on their way to making history.
They led 3-0 after the first period thanks to goals by Phillip Danault, Paul Byron and Shea Weber. Danault and Byron, two depth left wingers, now have five goals apiece. Weber, meanwhile, netted his sixth goal of the season and fifth via the power play. It came in typical Weber fashion – a one-timer clocked at 102 miles per hour.
Andrew Shaw and Max Pacioretty scored in the second, ending Jimmy Howard’s night in the Detroit net. Petr Mrazek replaced him to start the third.
That offensive output was more than enough for Carey Price, who made 25 saves to earn his second shutout of the season.
Price became the first goalie in league history to win his first 10 games of a season. He improved his goals-against average to 1.40 and his save percentage to .957 in the process. Price’s numbers are better than his Hart Trophy-winning 2014-15 season and the first 12 games a year ago when he went 10-2 with a .934 save percentage. That’s when a knee injury derailed his, and Canadiens’, campaign.
The Habs probably aren’t thinking about last year now, especially on their special night. In fact, one more win at the Bell Centre would allow them to equal the longest home winning streak to start an NHL season, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The Chicago Blackhawks of 1963-64 currently hold that distinction.
After facing the Blackhawks in Chicago on Sunday, the Canadiens will have a chance at another record Tuesday when they host the Florida Panthers.