Crawford has 39 saves as Blackhawks beat Canadiens and spoil Price’s 500th game

Crawford has 39 saves as Blackhawks beat Canadiens and spoil Price’s 500th game

Chicago Blackhawks’ Artemi Panarin (72) scores against Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price during third period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Tuesday, March 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.

MONTREAL — Corey Crawford made 40 saves as the visiting Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 on Tuesday to spoil Carey Price’s 500th NHL game.

Patrick Kane, Johnny Oduya, Artemi Panarin and Jonathan Toews, into the empty net, scored for the Blackhawks (44-20-5). Kane also added two assists.

Paul Byron and Shea Weber scored for Montreal (39-23-8).

Price made 20 saves as he became the third Canadiens goaltender to reach the 500-game milestone. Only Patrick Roy (551) and Jacques Plante (556) have played more games between the pipes for Montreal.

The Canadiens have not beaten Chicago since 2014 (0-6-1).

Crawford is a big reason for the Hawks’ recent success against the Canadiens.

The Montreal native, who was coming off a season-best 42-save effort against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, has never lost to the Habs in regulation time (7-0-2).

Crawford withstood a flurry of shots at the very end of the first period to preserve Chicago’s 1-0 lead.

In the second, the 32-year-old took a mighty Weber slapshot off his mask from just a few feet out. The Blackhawks goalie was stunned but stayed in the game.

Crawford was eyeing a shutout but was beaten twice in the third period.

Byron slapped a bouncing puck over his shoulder at 12:42 before Weber scored on a slapshot from the point at 16:32.

Crawford has never conceded more than two goals in a game against Montreal — his highest save percentage against any opponent.

Both the Canadiens and Hawks came into Tuesday’s encounter with 8-2-0 records in their last 10 games.

Chicago was outshot 11-4 in the first period but the visitors made the most of their one good chance when Kane scored at 12:23, capitalizing on a mistake by Alexei Emelin at centre ice then firing a wrister off the post and in.

Oduya made it 2-0 at 10:49 of the second period when his slap shot from the point took a slight deflection off Byron’s arm — enough to elude Price.

Emelin was again to blame for Chicago’s third goal. The Canadiens defenceman inexplicably changed sides mid-rush, leaving Panarin all alone in front of goal. With time on his side, Panarin roofed the puck on Price 47 seconds into the third frame.

Emelin finished the game with a minus-3 rating.

Chicago’s Artem Anisimov left the game in the first period with a left leg injury and did not return.

Notes: Defenceman Brandon Davidson, acquired at the trade deadline, got his second start with Montreal, replacing Nathan Beaulieu on the blue-line. … The Clarkson Cup-winning Canadiennes de Montreal (CWHL) were honoured in a pre-game ceremony.

Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press
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