The Habs held their own in the last 2 periods on Friday night in New York,
but the first period is what did them in. Before they could retreat to the
dressing room, the Habs allowed 5 goals in the 1st which basically ended this
one in a hurry. Artem Anisimov got the Rangers going on a breakaway 5
minutes in which set the stage for what seemed like an endless period.
However, the Habs got that one back quickly as P.K. Subban blasted one home
from the point. That didn’t deter New York’s momentum as the floodgates
opened. Dan Girardi, Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik, and Brian Boyle all
beat Carey Price who really wasn’t at fault for any of the goals, ending his
The Habs got one back in the 2nd, as James Wisniewski scored on another point
shot. Montreal had their opportunities to get that crucial 3rd goal
heading into the 3rd but were unsuccessful. Buoyed by a powerplay to start
the frame, Brian Gionta tipped home another Wisniewski point shot to get the
Habs within 2 but that was as close as Montreal got. Benoit Pouliot took
another late penalty (although this one was a little more questionable), Vaclav
Prospal beat Alex Auld to end any comeback hopes. Price’s save percentage
took a bit of a dive in this one, as he allowed 5 goals on only 12 shots.
Auld was much more successful, stopping all but 1 of the 19 he faced. At
the other end, Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves on 25 shots.
HW 3 Stars of the Night:
1st Star: James Wisniewski (1 goal, 1 assist, -1 rating, 3
hits, 2 blocks, 23:34 TOI)
The Rangers were burning one defensive pair in particular all night but it
wasn’t Wisniewski’s. When he was on the ice, the Habs had a lot of their
scoring chances and goals for that matter. It’s nice to see his point shot
generating some offence, it’s been a while since we’ve seen that. His goal
gave him a career high with 9.
2nd Star: Alex Auld (18 saves on 19 shots, 1.44 GAA, .947 SV%)
A lot of people thought he’d get the start and he showed, in relief, why
those people thought that way. He gave the Habs every chance to get back
in this one, making several key saves in both periods. This one could have
been a lot worse if not for him.
3rd Star: Brian Gionta (1 goal, 1 assist, even rating, 4 shots,
In a game where the Habs were physically dominated at times (though the hit
count surprisingly shows a draw at 32 apiece), he managed to fight through, get
into the traffic areas, and make something happen. A pretty strong game
from the captain.
Honourable Mention: P.K. Subban (1 goal, even rating, 6 PIMS, 4
shots, 21:01 TOI)
His skating ability was a huge positive in this one, saving several
situations from turning into prime scoring opportunities. Offensively, his
goal was extremely timely, though in the end it did nothing to quash the
momentum. There were some issues with his discipline but the positives
outweighed the negatives.
Stat of the Night: Roman Hamrlik didn’t quite make it into
Friday’s stars but it’s worth mentioning that his assist on Wisniewski’s goal
moved him into a tie for 2nd on the Habs in assists. Not bad for an old