NHL Roundup: Islanders spoil Carey Price’s return, and Panthers dismantle Jets

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Apr 15, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) acknowledges the cheers before the game against the New York Islanders at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price highlights the NHL Roundup for April 15, 2022 as his season debut was spoiled by the New York Islanders. There were only two games on the docket with the Florida Panthers dismantling the Winnipeg Jets.

The longtime Habs goaltender finally was able to play a game this year after a long comeback from offseason surgery. The 34 year-old had his family rinkside and they witnesses an absolute outpouring of love for Price by the fans in Montreal.

“It was a lot of fun, obviously it was heartwarming,” Price said. “It made me feel really wanted. It was definitely emotional, but I was able to stifle that and stay focused because I wanted to play well tonight.”

Carey Price returns: Islanders 3, Canadiens 0

Zach Parise broke a scoreless tie early in the third period, Noah Dobson quickly added to the lead and goaltender Ilya Sorokin recorded the shutout as the visiting New York Islanders spoiled Carey Price’s return to the Montreal Canadiens with a 3-0 victory Friday night.

Sorokin made 44 saves to post his seventh shutout of the season, which ties Glenn “Chico” Resch and Semyon Varlamov for the franchise record, and 10th in his career.

Brock Nelson also scored once in a two-point game for the Islanders (35-30-9, 79 points), who kept their faint playoff hopes alive. New York is 13 points behind the Washington Capitals for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth with eight games remaining for each team.

Price, who last played July 7, 2021, when the Canadiens fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final, returned after recovering from knee surgery as well as a stint in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. He stopped 17 shots for the Canadiens (20-44-11, 51 points).

“I think he’s been the heart and soul of this organization for a long time,” Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis said. “He’s been a reason why they’ve had some great playoff runs and great teams. It all starts there. You find a great team, there’s usually a really good goaltender. He came here as a young kid, highly touted, and he’s delivered.”

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The Canadiens — who lead only the Arizona Coyotes in the league standings — lost their fourth straight game and 10th time in 13 outings (3-8-2).

Prior to the game, the hosts and their fans honored former Islanders great Mike Bossy, the Montreal product who died Thursday night.

Bossy, a four-time Stanley Cup champion, scored 50 or more goals in nine consecutive seasons before his Hall of Fame career was cut short due to injury.

“I want to send our thoughts and prayers from the Islanders family to the Bossy family. Mike Bossy was a great ambassador to the Islanders and a great ambassador to the game of hockey,” Islanders coach said before the game. “He was one of the great scorers and one of the great people in the league. He will be missed.”

Panthers 6, Jets 1

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Apr 15, 2022; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau (11) congratulates goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (72) following a win over the Winnipeg Jets at FLA Live Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Huberdeau had two goals and an assist as the Florida Panthers extended their winning streak to nine games with a 6-1 victory against the visiting Winnipeg Jets on Friday.

Huberdeau has 11 goals and 13 assists in a 13-game point streak, tied for the second-longest streak in franchise history.

Gustav Forsling scored twice, Maxim Mamin and Mason Marchment added goals, Claude Giroux had three assists and Sam Reinhart contributed two helpers for the Panthers (53-15-6, 112 points). Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves to set a franchise record for single-season wins with 36.

“To be honest, I didn’t know about that,” Bobrovsky said. “I just found out after the game. They gave me a puck and said that I got the record. But it’s a team record. It’s not me, it’s all about the team. By myself I’m nothing, but as a team we’re strong.”

Nikolaj Ehlers scored for the Jets (35-29-11, 81 points), who remained eight points behind the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Connor Hellebuyck gave up four goals on 26 shots before being replaced by Eric Comrie to start the third period. Comrie stopped 15 of the 17 shots he faced.

Winnipeg had recorded points in each of its previous three games (2-0-1).

–Field Level Media contributed to this report