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Wings' Jared Coreau gets the better of idol Price

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Montreal center Alex Galchenyuk tries to get the puck past Detroit goalie Jared Coreau in the second period.

Detroit — This was an NHL victory goaltender Jared Coreau will not soon forget.

Coreau got the better of Carey Price, an all-world goaltender Coreau admires, Monday, 1-0, as the Red Wings defeated Montreal.

Coreau stopped all 18 shots he faced for his second NHL shutout. Price stopped 19 of 20, letting in a deflected goal by Thomas Vanek in the second period.

“I know it’s him (Price) but at the end of the day, whether it’s Carey Price or another goalie, or it’s a breakaway by Sidney Crosby or another player, we still have to score goals and I have to save shots,” Coreau said. “I try not to think about it too much. You think about one player too much it’ll consume you and take you away from the big picture.”

Coreau continued his fine play since being recalled from Grand Rapids when goaltender Jimmy Howard (sprained knee) was hurt, improving to 5-1-1.

“I try not to think about it too much, just capitalize on the opportunities that I’ve been given,” said Coreau, of the confidence shown in him by the coaching staff. “Around here you have to earn the games you get and whether you’re a forward or defensemen or goalie, you just have to keep playing well and keep working hard in practice and ultimately it’s up to the coaching staff, so whenever you’re called upon, you have to do your job and make the most of it.”

Coach Jeff Blashill talks about a young player capitalizing on an opportunity, but also cautioning the NHL is a difficult league to navigate.

But Coreau is doing a good job, in a small sample size.

“This league is relentless and it’s every single day, so you better show up every day to be great,” Blashill said. “But good job so far for him.”

Teammates like the way Coreau competes around the net, never giving up on a shot.

“He’s big and battles hard,” Vanek said. “Any time you battle like he does, the guys around him notice that and they’ll play hard for you.

“He’s been real good.”

Coreau was quick to pass along credit to skaters in front of him, who played a huge part in shutting down Montreal.

“When you get a shutout, it’s definitely a team effort,” Coreau said. “It sounds cliché but there were some big blocks in there, we got (a puck that hit) a post that went our way, and we held them to only 18 shots. Defensively, overall, we played a real good game.”

Price, incidentally, was impressed by Coreau’s game.

“He played real well,” said Price, arguably the league’s best goalie. “He has a big body, fills up a lot of net and keeps his game simple and quiet. I’m sure his coaches like that.”

Consistent production

Thomas Vanek’s goal Monday was his team-leading 12th and his fifth in six games.

Since Dec. 1, Vanek has 20 points (8 goals, 12 assists) in his last 20 games and has been held off the scoresheet only three games.

After missing 11 games because of a hip injury, Vanek returned in mid-November and hasn’t missed a beat after beginning the season hot offensively.

“I felt a little bit off the first couple of games, timing-wise,” Vanek said.

“But my legs and my hands felt good. Overall, so far it’s going good.”

Tight game

Montreal (27-12-6, 50 points) has lost three of its last five games, but the Canadiens didn’t come out of Joe Louis Arena entirely disappointed after Monday’s 1-0 loss.

“I liked the way we competed until the end,” said Montreal captain Max Pacioretty (Michigan).

“We were looking for bounces and we didn’t get one.”

The only goal of the game was Vanek’s deflection off his body.

“We didn’t get the puck luck and they scored a goal off the shin pad,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. “We put pucks at the net and didn’t hit the shin pad.”

Ice chips

The 18 shots allowed were fewest allowed by the Red Wings to a team this season.

… Defenseman Ryan Sproul, and forwards Tomas Jurco and Steve Ott were healthy scratches for the second consecutive game.’

… Goalie Jimmy Howard (sprained knee) took the ice Monday morning for the first time since suffering his injury Dec. 20 in Tampa.

“Jimmy was on the ice, not going down, didn’t take shots, nothing like that,” Blashill said. “Just stayed on his feet, but it was the first time he’d been on the ice so that was a positive thing.”

… Both defenseman Niklas Kronwall (knee) and forward Darren Helm (dislocated shoulder) both worked out for a second consecutive day.

“They’re getting closer,” Blashill said.

“But I don’t have a day in particular. We’ll see. I don’t want to put a date on it. I just know they’re skating and they’re getting closer.”