MONTREAL – As much as Bruce Boudreau admires Charlie Lindgren’s red-hot start, he didn’t want to add to the young goaltender’s list of accomplishments when the Wild played at Montreal on Thursday.
“I hope it’s not a special night for him,” the Wild coach said. “He’s had three good wins. Let’s just leave it at that.”
Lindgren, who played for Lakeville North and St. Cloud State, became the toast of Montreal by going 2-0 last week after stepping in for the injured Carey Price. That ran Lindgren’s career record to 5-0, making him the third Canadiens goalie to win his first five starts. Thursday, in his first game against his hometown NHL team, Lindgren was trying to join some very select company: the legendary Ken Dryden, who started his NHL career with a 6-0 record in 1970-71.
The Canadiens record is held by Wayne Thomas, who won seven in a row to start his NHL career in 1972-73.
“He’s a good young goalie,” Boudreau said. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about him, not just this week, but before this week.
“We’ve seen this story happen many times, almost once a year. A young goalie comes out, and the main guy gets hurt, and he steals the spotlight for a long time. It just happens like that. Now it’s his turn.”
Lindgren, an undrafted free agent, signed a two-year, two-way contract in March 2016 after finishing his sophomore season at St. Cloud State. At the time, Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin called Lindgren the best undrafted college goalie available and an “excellent prospect.” Lindgren went 30-9-1 with the Huskies and posted a 2.13 goals-against average and .925 save percentage during his college career.
He played one game for the Canadiens in 2015-16 and two last season, when he went 24-18-1 for St. John’s of the AHL. With Price injured, Lindgren was called up last week from the Canadiens’ minor-league affiliate in Laval.
In his first start, Sunday at Chicago, he stopped 38 shots for his first NHL shutout. Tuesday, he notched a 29-save win vs. Vegas.
Price struggled badly in the loss to the Wild, and it was later revealed that he sustained a minor lower-body injury that game. He resumed skating on his own Wednesday and is listed as day-to-day.
Wild goaltender Alex Stalock will rejoin the team for the final game of the road trip Saturday in Philadelphia. Stalock was scheduled to start Wednesday at Toronto, but he returned to the Twin Cities to be with his wife, Felicia, for the birth of a daughter.
Selena Raine was born Wednesday and weighs 8 pounds, 10 ounces.
Where it all began
Montreal will host a number of events next week to mark the 100th anniversary of the NHL’s founding. The league was born during a meeting at Montreal’s Windsor Hotel on Nov. 26, 1917.
NHL executives from all 31 franchises will gather at the Windsor on Nov. 17. A plaque will be dedicated to note the site’s history. Hall of Famers from the Original Six teams — Ray Bourque (Boston), Yvan Cournoyer (Montreal), Rod Gilbert (New York Rangers), Dave Keon (Toronto), Frank Mahovlich (Detroit) and Denis Savard (Chicago) — will also make appearances.
• The Wild scratched defenseman Kyle Quincey. Mike Reilly, scratched Wednesday after playing seven consecutive games, joined Gustav Olofsson on the third defensive pair.
• The four-city, six-day road trip that ends Saturday is tied for the Wild’s longest this season. Just before Christmas, it takes a four-game, seven-day trip to Chicago, Ottawa, Florida and Tampa Bay.