The Canadiens and Flames met for the first time this season in a preview of the upcoming Heritage Classic in Calgary on February 20th. The Canadiens got out to an early
4-0 lead but managed to let the Flames all the way back into the game before winning it in overtime.
The game started off at a frantic pace with both teams pushing the play in end-to-end action. The Canadiens were the first to bury one of their chances when
Tomas Plekanec passed to Mike Cammalleri and the puck bounced off his skate right to
Lars Eller who put it away for the first of the game at 3:27 of the first period. Cammalleri then picked up a slashing penalty and he was just out of the box when he was sent in on a partial breakaway and put his shot off the far post and in for a 2 goal lead.
The Canadiens started the second period where they left off with two quick goals from Andrei Kostitsyn and Jeff Halpern that ended up chasing
Miikka Kiprusoff from the Flames net. After the change of goaltenders the Flames seemed to play with more energy and responded with goals from Rene Bourque at 13:26 and Jay
Jay Bouwmeester with the dreaded late period goal at 18:48 to reduce the lead to 2 goals.
The collapse was complete within 3 minutes of the start of the third period with Calgary getting goals from
Ales Kotalik and former Hab Alex Tanguay only 1:19 apart to tie the game at 4 apiece.
Alex Auld was pulled and Carey Price came in to calm the troops.
The game went to overtime where the Canadiens salvaged the victory. Scott Gomez rushed up the ice, passed to P.K. Subban who then wristed a shot over the left shoulder of
Henrik Karlsson to win the extra point.
It was an exciting game but just another example of the Canadiens sitting back and defending too much when they get a lead. They will have to learn how to close out games and hold onto a lead if they want to be successful this season.
HW 3 Stars of the Night:
1st Star: Mike Cammalleri (1 goal, 1 assist, 1 shot, 19:41 TOI)
In playing his old team, Cammalleri seemed to have found his legs after being out of the lineup through illness. He was skating, forechecking and most importantly found that laser for a shot that has been missing in recent games.
2nd Star: P.K. Subban (1 goal, 1 assist, 3 shots, 27:13 TOI)
P.K. seems to becoming more comfortable with every game with the added responsibilities because of the absence of Markov and Gorges. Tonight he played well on the PP, PK as well as at even strength. The overtime winner was the icing on the cake.
3rd Star: Andrei Kostitsyn (1 goal, +1 rating, 4 shots, 13:20 TOI)
Kostitsyn scored in his second consecutive game and showed some of the qualities that made him a first round pick by driving to the net and unleashing the hard, accurate shot which has served him well. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.