Forward lines and defense pairings
Pacioretty – Danault – Lehkonen
Galchenyuk – Drouin – Hudon
Byron – Plekanec – Gallagher
Deslauriers – De La Rose – Shaw
Benn – Jerabek
Alzner – Petry
Mete – Schlemko
Daniel Carr, Byron Froese, Joe Morrow
Ales Hemsky – concussion, Shea Weber – lower-body
It was a Saturday night contest between the Bruins and Canadiens, one of the best rivalries in sports. For a minute, Habs fans almost forgot about the dismal first half of the season. Almost.
The Canadiens opened the game well using their speed to befuddle the visiting Bruins. Max Pacioretty opened the scoring with an assist to Victor Mete, having returned from the World Juniors with a gold medal around his neck. Artturi Lehkonen made the play screening Tuukka Rask.
The Canadiens gave up a power-play goal before the end of the first period. David Schlemko thought it was a good idea to defend the same side of ice as Jordie Benn. It wasn’t. Paul Byron thought it was okay not to cover Brad Marchand. It wasn’t.
It didn’t take long for more Montreal miscues in the second period. If Nicolas Deslauriers continues to be a spectator on the ice, he will be doing the same thing in the press box. Jake DeBrusk was allowed to walk in all alone on Carey Price.
Deslauriers partially redeemed himself taking advantage of a slow-footed Zdeno Chara as Rask gave up a soft goal less than three minutes later. Before the end of the second, Alex Galchenyuk ripped a shot into the back of the net for a power-play goal. The Bruins tied the game as Jakub Jerabek could not control the puck. David Krejci did.
It was an entertaining game with some of the intensity that has been missing from the Bell Centre most of the season. The buzz in the building did fall to a hush with Phillip Danault lying on the ice after being struck with a Chara 75-mph shot. Danault’s scan came back as normal but he will be kept overnight in hospital for observation.
The Canadiens will hold a public practice at the Bell Centre on Sunday as they prepare for a visit from the New York Islanders on Monday night.
▲ Carey Price, Alex Galchenyuk, Victor Mete
▼ David Schlemko, Jonathan Drouin