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NHL scores 2015: Mike Condon outduels Sergei Bobrovsky in 2-1 Montreal win

Without Carey Price due to injury, Montreal looks to rookie Mike Condon, who passed his first test in a 2-1 win over Columbus.

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The most recent Mike Condon era in Montreal is off to a good start for the Canadiens. A day after learning that starting goaltender Carey Price would be out for six weeks due to a lower-body injury, Condon took to Montreal's crease to silence talk of declining play. Condon had taken over the starting position while Price was injured earlier in the season, and while that stint started on a high note, cracks eventually began to show.

After Tuesday's 22-save performance against the Blue Jackets, the voices are a bit quieter now as the Canadiens begins their toughest challenge to date -- keeping afloat without their best player on the ice. With just 15 games of NHL experience under his belt, Condon is largely untested at the top level. He burst onto the scene winning six of his first seven games played, posting no lower than a .926 save percentage during that span.

Since the middle of November, however, Condon's performance has dropped off. He lost four of his last six starts and only reached that .926 save percentage line once in that span. But with Price out, the Canadiens had nowhere to turn to except the untested skills of Condon.

Tuesday's 2-1 victory at home is a good confidence booster for the young netminder, who will have to shoulder the burden of Montreal's back end through the next month and a half. Surprisingly, Condon has had better stats than Price at even strength this year, largely because of the injuries that Montreal's starter has dealt with.

Signs so far are pointing to a resurgence for Condon and the Canadiens. The young netminder is still unproven, but with each game he wins, his confidence will surely grow. In the meantime, Condon's burden isn't as heavy as it seems thanks to Montreal's place at the top of the league. The Canadiens still have a relatively safe bubble around them if Condon's performance starts to decline, taking some of the pressure off of the goaltender during what has been a trial by fire.


Colorado Avalanche 2, New Jersey Devils 1

Montreal Canadiens 2, Columbus Blue Jackets 1

Philadelphia Flyers 4, Ottawa Senators 2

Detroit Red Wings 5, Buffalo Sabres 4 (SO)

Florida Panthers 3, St. Louis Blues 1

Nashville Predators 5, Arizona Coyotes, 2

Minnesota Wild 2, Chicago Blackhawks 1

Calgary Flames 4, Dallas Stars 3 (SO)

Los Angeles Kings 2, Vancouver Canucks 1 (OT)

Pittsburgh Penguins 5, San Jose Sharks 1

3 things we learned

1. Jack Eichel vs. Dylan Larkin Pt. 1 was underwhelming

While neither rookie had an impact in the game, both Larkin and Eichel were on display in Detroit's 5-4 victory over Buffalo in a shootout. It was the first of five meetings between the two teams, with the next coming in just a couple  weeks. With Connor McDavid still out due to a broken collarbone, Larkin has stepped up in his place as the NHL rookie to beat. Eichel has been steady so far  with 12 points in 25 games, but he hasn't dazzled the league like Larkin has in the past few weeks. It's a "rivalry" to keep an eye on in McDavid's absence. The pair are two of the top contenders for this year's Calder Trophy.

2. Calgary's comeback kids are back!

The Flames have finally earned back their nickname after triumphing over the Dallas Stars 4-3 in a shootout. Calgary scored three goals in the final 20 minutes to force an extra hockey period then to a shootout, where all three Flames shooters scored to finish the comeback. Sean Monahan had two key assists on the Flames' final two goals to help snap a three-game losing streak. Somehow, the Stars allowed the Flames back in the door after effectively finishing them off on Mattias Janmark's tally halfway through the game. I's quite a statement win for Calgary, which can potentially build off this victory to make a run in a tough Pacific Division.

3. Florida and St. Louis played quite a boring first period of hockey

The teams had seven combined shots in the first 20 minutes, then exploded for three goals in just 34 seconds a frame later!

Impact Moment

Pekka Rinne came up with a crazy ten-bell stick save that helped Nashville beat a stingy Arizona team 5-2.

Stat of the Night

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