Saturday night was Saku Koivu’s homecoming and unfortunately for the
Habs, it was a victorious one as Anaheim withstood a late comeback to win 4-3 in
a shootout. Powerplays were huge in this game; the Ducks scored the lone
goal in the 1st with the man advantage, All-Star bound Cam Fowler got credit for
that one. Max Pacioretty tied it up in the 2nd though, also on the PP.
The Ducks were able to strike back quickly though as Bobby Ryan restored the
1-goal lead. Then, the powerplay struck once more as Corey Perry beat
Carey Price in the dying seconds of the stanza, Koivu had the main assist.
Of note on that goal was the presence of both callups from earlier in the week,
Andreas Engqvist and Ryan White, despite it being the last minute and a
defensive zone faceoff.
The Habs certainly didn’t roll over though as they pummeled Jonas Hiller to
the tune of 23 shots in the 3rd. Mathieu Darche tipped in a Yannick Weber
point shot with 3:40 to go to make it 3-2, while Pacioretty, once again on the
powerplay and once again in front of the net, picked up his 2nd of the night
with just 13 seconds left in regulation time to force overtime.
The extra frame provided chances at both ends but yielded no goals, leading
to a shootout. Benoit Pouliot, Andrei Kostitsyn, and Brian Gionta were all
foiled by Hiller, while Price stopped Corey Perry but was beaten by Ryan to give
the Ducks the extra point in this one. Price stopped 23 of 26 Anaheim
shots, while Hiller made 37 saves at the other end. The Ducks were 2/4 on
the powerplay, Montreal 2/6.
HW 3 Stars of the Night:
1st Star: Max Pacioretty (2 goals, even rating, 2 PIMS, 6
shots, 2 hits, 21:21 TOI)
Ever since the rib injury, he has taken off. In this game, he got in
Hiller’s grill, provided good screens, and scored both goals in the slot area.
His 6 shots also led all Montreal forwards.
2nd Star: P.K. Subban (1 assist, -1 rating, 6 shots, 26:18 TOI)
This was one of those nights where it seemed as if the coaching staff just
said shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. He had 6 shots hit the net, but
attempted a whopping 16 on the night. His keep-ins late in the game proved
to be crucial as well.
3rd Star: Mathieu Darche (1 goal, even rating, 2 shots, 1/2
faceoffs, 12:28 TOI)
It was a relatively quiet night for Darche but in the end, he found a way to
be productive, tipping home that Weber point shot late in the 3rd to give the
Habs (and the crowd) new found life.
Honourable Mention: Tomas Plekanec (1 assist, +1 rating, 2 PIMS,
2 shots, 15/26 faceoffs, 22:11 TOI)
Though Plekanec wasn’t able to build off his 2-goal effort the night before,
he still made a big impact on this game. He had his chances despite having
rotating linemates throughout the game and had a pair of quality chances in
Stat of the Night: After balancing the ice time Friday in
Ottawa, the Habs went with a shortened bench in this one. After being on
the ice for the Ducks’ 3rd goal, White was glued to the bench while Engqvist
only had a pair of shifts. Jaroslav Spacek continues to see his ice time
drop, playing just under 15 minutes. His extra minutes went to James
Wisniewski who played a Hab-high (and quite possibly a career high) 30:30.