Article written by Simon.
The Habs’ final home game before the Olympic Break was touted as the battle
of two goalies competing for the starting job on Team Canada in Sochi with Carey
Price facing off against Roberto Luongo. It was Price and the Canadiens
who came out victorious as they beat the Canucks 5-2 for their second straight
Montreal was facing a banged up Canucks team that was missing Henrik Sedin,
Kevin Bieksa, and Dan Hamhuis among others. Montreal opened the scoring on the
powerplay when a P.K. Subban point shot deflected of Max Pacioretty’s leg and
found the back of the net passed a screened Luongo. Just over a minute later
Montreal doubled their lead when Ryan White recorded his first goal of the
season with Dale Weise picking up his first point as a Hab on the goal.
In the second period, the Canucks cut the deficit in half when former Hab
Chris Higgins deflected a Jason Garrison point shot past Price on what was
Vancouver’s second consecutive powerplay to start the period. In what was
a first in NHL history, Max Pacioretty had two penalty shots in the same period
just 2 minutes apart but was unable to beat Luongo on either, missing the net
one one and flubbing the puck on the either.
In the third, Montreal was able re-establish their two goal lead when David
Desharnais connected with Pacioretty for his second of the game. Montreal
extended their lead to 4-1 when shortly after a Montreal penalty kill, an
attempted Tomas Plekanec pass was kicked into the net by Alex Edler. Edler was
able to get some redemption when he made it a 4-2 game on what was Vancouver’s
fifth straight powerplay and recently traded Raphael Diaz picked up an assist on
the goal, his second point in as many games with the Canucks. Price continued to
play a strong game making key saves on quality chances en route to a 42 save
performance. Max Pacioretty completed the hat trick when he scored into the
empty net putting the game out of reach.
Overall, the Canadiens played a fairly strong game netting three five-on-five
goals (not including the empty netter) and getting a strong game from Price. The
Canucks continue to struggle losing their sixth consecutive game. Montreal is
starting to have some success since their four game slide going 4-1-1 with all
four wins coming in regulation time. The Habs will try to finish strong when
they play Carolina on Saturday in what will be their last game before the
HW 3 Stars
1st Star: Carey Price: He was strong throughout the game making key
saves at key moments and was only beaten when the Habs were short-handed and
finished with 42 saves.
2nd Star: Max Pacioretty: Scored a hat trick despite missing two
penalty shots. At least he’s in the record books for something.
3rd Star: Brendan Gallagher: Gallagher played a strong game from start
to finish, providing the screen on Montreal’s first goal and being key on the
forecheck for Montreal’s third goal. He finished with two assists.