Tuesday’s game between division rivals Montreal and Buffalo definitely had a playoff atmosphere and was dominated by some outstanding goaltending. The Habs got out to an early
1st period lead but could not hold onto it and ended up losing 2-1 in overtime. Another talking point was the amount of Canadiens players hurt during the game with five players leaving the ice injured at various points in the game.
The Canadiens got off to an early start with a powerplay goal from David Desharnais, a nice tip off a point shot from Roman Hamrlik.
This came after the first of four players went to the dressing room for repairs.
The first was Mike Cammalleri who hurt his shoulder after getting crosschecked into the boards. The next was Max Pacioretty who was hit by a point shot in front of the net. Jeff Halpern then
suffered a shoulder injury and was taken to the dressing and finally, just before the end of the period, P.K. Subban took a shot to the foot and also limped off the ice.
The Habs got some reinforcements early in the second period when Subban returned to the bench. That was not enough prevent Buffalo back into the game as the Canadiens gave up a 5-on-3 and only managed to kill the first penalty before Tyler Ennis potted a rebound to tie the game at 11:21 of the second period.
Carey Price held the Canadiens in the game as the team started to tire with some outstanding saves early in the third period. As the period progressed the chippy play from both teams resulted in scrums developing after virtually every whistle. The Habs ended the period shorthanded after a high-sticking penalty from Scott Gomez. This ended up being very costly as the Sabres capitalized early in overtime with a goal from Jason Pominville to give them the extra point.
Hal Gill left the extra stanza with an injury as well.
The Canadiens earned 3 points out of 4 in their two games but the major
talking point from this game is the injury news on both Cammalleri and Pacioretty.
Early reports suggest Cammalleri has a separated shoulder and will miss at least
two weeks; other reports suggest 4-6 weeks is likely. As for Pacioretty, he was taken to hospital on a stretcher after getting a puck in the ribs, hopefully his injury is not serious.
There is no word on Halpern, however, fortunately the injury to Gill was not
serious and he is not expected to miss any time. Not surprisingly, the
Habs have already cancelled Wednesday’s practice as too many players are nicked
HW 3 Stars of the Night:
1st Star: Carey Price (37 saves, .949 SV %)
Carey held the team in the game with some great saves in the latter stages of
the game and allowed the team to hang on into overtime to earn at least a point.
2nd Star: David Desharnais (1 goal, 2 shots, 15:10 TOI)
He earned his second goal of the season with the big club and played some quality minutes while the Canadiens were missing players for the majority of the game.
3rd Star: Scott Gomez (4 Shots, 57.9 FO %, 22:55 TOI)
He was a contributor at both ends of the ice by creating some quality scoring chances while also playing solidly in his own end, even blocking a shot at one point. He really stepped up his game in the absence of the key players.