It was a battle of the backup goalies at home for Montreal tonight, and Peter Budaj outduelled Brian Boucher as the Canadiens managed a 4-1 win. Budaj stopped 18 out of 19 shots for his first victory of the season. The win is the Habs third in a row, showing the team has rebounded nicely from a 3 game losing streak the previous week.
With any battle, there are casualties. The third period was costly for Montreal as Brendan Gallagher suffered an awkward hit against the boards and left the game. Later, Max Pacioretty was driving the Flyers net and fell into the goal post. He seemed to be favouring his abdomen area, and since he had appendectomy surgery a few weeks ago there is some concern. Alexei Emelin suffered a nasty slash late in the game, but returned. However, Colby Armstrong had an errant clearing pass from a teammate jump up and hit him the face, causing him to leave the game.
HW 3 Stars of the Night
1st Star: Brendan Gallagher – The rookie managed a goal and an assist tonight, with a high level of energy and effort in tonight’s game. The kid had a presence every shift in the game.
2nd Star: Max Pacioretty – Max was paired with Gallagher tonight, and the two had some solid chemistry. Pacioretty managed 2 assists tonight, and had a few good scoring chances of his own as last year’s leading goal scorer continues to look for his first of this season.
3rd Star: Rene Bourque – The big winger was awarded an empty net goal when he was pulled down on his way to scoring late in the last minute of play. He added an assist to his stats, and maintained a high level of effort offensively and defensively.
Honourable Mention: David Desharnais – He was centering Pacioretty and Gallgher to form the most dangerous Habs line. Tonight’s game may be the turning point to his slow start this season.