The Montreal Canadiens head into the all-star break on a winning note after a 2-1 overtime victory over the visiting Nashville Predators
on Tuesday night. After getting off to a slow start, Montreal’s powerplay bailed them out in the third period and overtime to secure maximum points against
a Western Conference juggernaut.
The first period was every bit the offensive thriller everyone expected as the Canadiens and Predators kept it scoreless. Carey Price, back from a short two-game absence due to injury, was sharp early denying Mike Fisher, and solid throughout, as Montreal skated out to the customary
lacklustre opening period. Shots were 14-4 Nashville after 20 minutes.
It was a veritable onslaught from the Predators during the first half of the second period as it took Montreal ten minutes to get their first shot on goal while Price kept the game scoreless. Nashville’s pressure would eventually pay dividends, with a little under eight minutes to play in the period. A Seth Jones point shot beat Price, who had lost his stick and was struggling to get settled with David Desharnais’ stick.
The goal seemed to jolt Montreal out of their daze as P.K. Subban created some chances around the Nashville goal
shortly after. Brendan Gallagher had a 2-on-1 chance at the end of his shift in the latter stages of the period, but couldn’t break through. The Canadiens ended the period with very strong pressure in Nashville’s zone, with both Alex Galchenyuk and Gallagher coming close to tying the game. The score remained 1-0 after 40 minutes, with
the shots favouring Nashville 28-13.
Montreal started the period off with an early powerplay chance, with the best chance coming off a Subban point shot that hit the post. Moments later, a Subban slap pass from the point was guided in by Galchenyuk to tie the game up 1-1. The Canadiens continued to pressure as Max Pacioretty almost tipped in a 2-on-1 opportunity. A ten minute glass repair didn’t do much to slow down Montreal’s pressure as Pacioretty
had a good scoring opportunity while drawing a second powerplay for the Canadiens.
Montreal could not find the go-ahead goal, nor could either team break the dead lock on a 4-on-4 shortly after the penalty expired. The better chances belonged to the Canadiens in the period, but this contest would go to extra time. Subban had a chance to end the game in the first minute of overtime, but shot wide from the slot. Nashville took a penalty with a little over two minutes to play, giving Montreal the 4-on-3 power play where Subban would find the net to clinch the 2-1 victory.
HW 3 Stars of the Night
1st Star – Carey Price
The Canadiens were asleep for the first half of the game, luckily Price was not. It didn’t look like he missed a beat during his brief absence due to injury.
36 saves on 37 shots – .973 save percentage – 0.94 GAA
2nd Star – P.K. Subban
Aside from the score sheet heroics, that shift he put in, right after Nashville scored, was him taking the team on his shoulders. After that Nashville goal, the game turned in Montreal’s
favour – that shift started it.
1 goal – 1 assist – even rating – 2 shots – 0 hits – 0 takeaways – 28:21 TOI
3rd Star – Alex Galchenyuk
Galchenyuk had a nice tip-in goal and was marauding down the wings
throughout the game. He played a role on the game winning goal, a solid
1 goal – 1 assist – -1 rating – 4 shots – 1 hit – 0 takeaway – 16:24 TOI
Honourable Mention – Max Pacioretty
He was invisible during the first half of the game – as was most of the team – but grew into the game as it progressed.
Pacioretty had some chances and was strong all around as he led all forwards, from either team, in ice time.
0 goals – 0 assists – even rating – 4 shots – 2 hits – 1 takeaway – 24:01 TOI
Stat of the Night
10. There’ve been far too many stretches where this team has not had a shot on goal for half a period. Surprisingly, this stretch came during the second period. Either way, it’s a bad habit that needs to be curbed.