Game 26, Away Game 12 | Tuesday December 6, 2016 
Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

2-3

BLUES
St. Louis

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/ Getty Images)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings 

Pacioretty – Desharnais – Radulov
Shaw – Mitchell – Gallagher
Lehkonen – Plekanec – Byron
Carr – Danault – Flynn

Emelin – Weber
Markov – Petry
Barberio – Pateryn

Goaltenders

Montoya
Price

Scratches

Zach Redmond, Alex Galchenyuk

Injured Reserve

Charles Hudon (sternum), Nathan Beaulieu (upper body)

Game Report

On December 3, 2015, the Montreal Canadiens hosted the Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre. Coming into the game, Montreal sat atop the NHL standings with a record of 19-4-3 for 41 points in 26 games. Michel Therrien reunited David Desharnais Max Pacioretty on the Habs top line for the first time in the season. 

Montreal lost the game 3-2 to the Capitals. The Canadiens would win just two games the rest of the month: 3-1 over the Senators on December 12 and a 4-3 shootout decision over Tampa Bay on December 28th. The Habs lost 11 times.

By the end of December, the Canadiens had fallen to 11th place over with 45 points in 39 games played, trailing the league-leading Capitals by 13 points. As we know, the slide would continue.

In game 26 of the Canadiens season of the current campaign, once again David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty would wind up on the first line (for the first time this season.) Desharnais left the game, not to return, after awkwardly attempting his first bodycheck of the season on Blues defenceman Jay Boumeester. Desharnais was credited with his first hit of the year but suffered a lower-body injury on the play.

Desharnais finished the game without a point and without a shot on goal, going just 22 per cent in the faceoff circle. On the first line. Playing with a red hot Alexander Radulov and Max Pacioretty.

With the Canadiens already weakened down the middle due to the injury to Alex Galchenyuk, it was time for Tomas Plekanec to step up. Plekanec responded with one of his best games of the season recording a goal and an assist to earn the third star of the game. Paul Byron also had a two-point night.

Giving up a two-goal lead in the third period is not the mark of a championship team. I don’t buy the line that the Canadiens ran out of gas in the third. As far as western road trips go, the schedule-makers were kind to the Habs with five games spread out over 11 days. Going 0-for on the power-play, a lack of depth and mediocre goaltending hurt the Canadiens on this night.

Looking ahead, the Habs need help at centre, but the prospects sick bay is full. Charles Hudon is out indefinitely and Nikita Scherbak is a week or two away. Michael McCarron is the closest to returning, listed day-to-day and practicing in a non-contact jersey.

Marc Bergevin could recall Jacob De La Rose if he wants a centre. Otherwise, Sven Andrighetto or Chris Terry could be on their way to Montreal. That could necessitate a shift to centre by Artturi Lehkonen or Andrew Shaw. Lehkonen was seen working on faceoffs in practice on Tuesday.

~~~

▲     Tomas Plekanec, Artturi Lehkonen, Greg Pateryn, Alexei Emelin, Paul Byron

▼     Brian Flynn, Phillip Danault, Andrew Shaw, David Desharnais

 Statistics 
CANADIENS   BLUES
30 Shots 31
43% Face-offs 57%
0 for 5 Power Play 0 for 4
8 Penalty Minutes 10
12 Hits 23
57 Corsi For 51
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (17-6-3) 1 1 0 0 2
 Blues (15-7-4) 0 0 2 1 3
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: Byron (8), Plekanec (2)
  • STL: Stastny (7), Schwartz (9), Schwartz (10)
  • MTL: Montoya (L) 3-3-2
  • STL: Allen (W) 13-3-3
 NHL Three Stars

NHL3stars
  1.  Jaden Schwartz  STL
  2.  Paul Stastny STL
  3. Tomas Plekanec  MTL

 Video Highlights 
 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Michel Therrien

  • “We played against big and really good teams. We have to look at the way we played. Every game was close. We were in every game. The games could have gone either way.”

Al Montoya

  • “I thought we did a good job [against the Blues]. That first one, I want to have back. It’s coming at the net, and then I think the second one was a little bit of a lucky bounce. They’re a good team. They stuck around, and you go to overtime and it’s anyone’s game.”
  • “They’re all tough. You want to win every one and I thought we put ourselves in a good position there.”

Max Pacioretty

  • “It was a hard-fought battle on the road. It’s tough when you’re missing one center, but to lose a second one, it’s really tough. It was a bit of a scramble there at the end, putting together lines and stuff because of two guys missing. But, I thought the guys battled pretty hard and we gave ourselves an opportunity to get the two points, and we weren’t able to grab that extra point.”

Paul Byron

  • “I think we played good games on the road against teams that are very good, teams that everyone watches and thinks are Stanley Cup contenders. It’s a good measuring stick for us. I think we played well. I think we could have won all of those games. It’s something to build on.”

Quotes courtesy of NHL.com

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2 COMMENTS

  1. the problem is DD is not a 1st line center or in fact no center at all..22% on face-offs is not acceptable for some one who is suppose to be a center his whole career. why would DD be crazy enough to throw his first check of the season against Bowmeister..5 ft 8in versus what 6 ft 4 or more..all he is gonna do is bounce off or get hurt like what happened. BTW for those interested PK already has equaled the number og goals he got all last year

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