Though the Habs were in Columbus on Tuesday night, they certainly weren’t in
spirit as they dropped a 3-0 decision to the host Blue Jackets. The Habs
trailed 2-0 after 1 on goals by Rick Nash and Derick Brassard (on the powerplay)
despite several chances in the early stages of the stanza. That seemed to
deflate Montreal who sleepwalked through the rest of the game; Kyle Wilson added
a 3rd period marker to put it out of reach. Former Hab Mathieu Garon got
the shutout for Columbus, stopping all 29 shots he faced while Carey Price made
21 saves in the loss.
HW 3 Stars of the Night:
1st Star: Andrei Kostitsyn (4 shots (10 attempts), 2 hits,
He was the only player who seemed to be a threat offensively on a regular basis
regardless of whether he was with Cammalleri/Plekanec or Gomez/Gionta as he was
at the end of the game. In the 3rd period, he started to go into the
traffic areas more, which was a good sign.
2nd Star: Carey Price (21 saves on 24 shots)
The save percentage (.875) may suggest he had an off night but this was far from
the case. He couldn’t be faulted on any of the Columbus goals while he
made several key saves in the 2nd period to keep it from potentially getting out
of hand early, including one off teammate Jaroslav Spacek.
3rd Star: P.K. Subban (2 shots, 2 hits, 2 blocks, 23:09 TOI)
He had a couple of iffy moments but quite frankly, who didn’t tonight? All
in all, he played somewhat well and was one of the players who at least gave an
effort for 3 periods. He led the team in ice time and tied for the lead in
hits and blocks.
Honourable Mention: Jeff Halpern (1 block, 6/11 faceoffs, 12:20
Halpern missed the net on a couple of quality chances but at the very least, he
had some chances. He was also the only Hab proficient on the draw at 55%,
the rest of the team combined went 13/43, just over 30%.
Stat of the Night: The Habs had a chance to break an 11+ year
drought had they won tonight. It would have been their 5th straight road
win, but alas, that streak sadly ended.
Fortunately, it wasn’t an complete losing night for the Habs as the Hamilton
Bulldogs moved back into a tie for 1st in their division with a 3-1 victory over
division rival Manitoba. Curtis Sanford got the win in his season debut
after returning from a throat injury, while Max Pacioretty, Mathieu Carle, and
Aaron Palushaj scored for Hamilton. Alexander Avtsin did not return to the
lineup; he remains out with a wrist injury. David Desharnais extended his season-long point streak to 9 games, the second longest active streak in the AHL currently behind Keith Aucoin (Hershey). The two teams will play once
again on Wednesday night, also in Hamilton.