NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A record-breaking night for the Nashville Predators left them feeling victorious, while a record-tying night for Carey Price left him with a loss.
Nashville outshot Montreal 55-20 and the Predators have won two straight and six of their past eight. Montreal has dropped four of six. The 55 shots are a franchise record for Nashville.
Rinne got his second shutout of the season and ninth of his career. Sullivan had just two goals in the team's first 17 games of the season. Price made a career-high 53 saves for Montreal. The 53 saves tied Wayne Thomas' Canadiens record for most saves in a game. Thomas did it March 10, 1974 in a 5-4 win at Pittsburgh.
"They threw a lot of pucks at the net tonight," Price said. "Records aside, we were here to get two points, not a record."
"He performed well, there is no doubt," Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said of his goaltender. "It's unfortunate that his teammates didn't take advantage of a performance like that."
Sullivan scored his first goal at 10:48 of the opening period when he collected a rebound of his own shot and was able to beat Price with a backhand.
The Predators set a franchise record with 24 shots on goal in the first period. The previous record for shots in a period was 23 set Feb. 28, 2004, against the New York Rangers.
"It's just the mindset, you break down teams' defense when you put it on net," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "They are scrambling for pucks, they are reaching, and we are being firm in their offensive zone."
J.P. Dumont was credited with the only assist on Sullivan's goal. Dumont leads the Predators in points this season with 12.
"I'm not going to lie, I really feel comfortable with J.P., and I find that he really settles the play down for us in the offensive end," Sullivan said. "He's so good at puck protection and nifty little passes that when you are open, you are getting the puck."
Sullivan made it 2-0 at 12:59 of the third period.
With the Predators on a 5-on-3 power play, Price stopped a slap shot from Nashville defenseman Shea Weber, but the rebound came right to Sullivan in the left circle where he fired a one-timer by Price on the stick side.
Rinne has won six of his last seven and improved his record on the season to 6-4-0.
"The guys on defense did a great job, I didn't have to face too many shots," Rinne said. "Obviously you have your good saves and your moments, but it was one of the easier games that we have had this year so far."
Notes: Nashville out shot Montreal 24-4 in the first period. The 20 shot margin was the second largest single period margin in the NHL this season. ... The Canadiens made their first trip to Nashville since Feb. 22, 2007. ... Montreal right wing Brian Gionta missed his first game of the season with a lower-body injury. ... Saturday's game was the first of five consecutive home games for the Predators. They play seven of their remaining eight November games at home.Post-Game Quotes
Forward Steve Sullivan
On Nashville’s play as a team…
I think that in the last three games since San Jose, we’ve been really dominant in the other team’s zone; we’ve created a lot of havoc and we’ve been putting a lot of pucks on net. We’ve had a lot of good scoring chances. Tonight we created a lot of pressure for their defensemen and made them turn on every shift.
On having only a one-goal lead after such a dominant performance in the first period…
You do get a little nervous when you are dominating the play like that. When you’ve only got a one goal lead, sometimes that’s where they get a lucky bounce and then it’s a 1-1 game.
On only having two penalties during the game…
I thought throughout the whole 60 minutes we kept our feet moving and we didn’t have very many penalties against what we thought was a very fast Eastern Conference team.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne
On being pleased with his overall performance tonight…
Our team played a great game and it was a pretty easy game for myself with the help everyone else.
On Nashville’s defense overall tonight…
The guys on defense did a great job; I didn’t have to face too many shots. Obviously you have your good saves and your moments, but it was one of the easier games that we have had this year so far.
Forward J.P. Dumont
On getting a win after their West Coast trip…
Coming home from having such a long trip on the West Coast and having a day off yesterday was – one that we really deserved – we knew that we needed to play hard right away and we did.
On the team’s performance during the first period…
We got a really good start and we never looked back after that. Sometimes when you have that many shots and you don’t score, the other team will come back with a goal; but we never looked back, so that was really good for us.