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

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.


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