Game 45, Away Game 23 | Saturday January 16, 2016 
Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

3-4

BLUES
St. Louis

(Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings: 

Pacioretty – Plekanec – Gallagher
Galchenyuk – Desharnais – Weise
Fleischmann – Eller – Byron
De la Rose – Mitchell – Flynn

Markov – Subban
Emelin – Petry
Beaulieu – Barberio

Goaltenders:

Condon
Scrivens

Scratches:  Devante Smith-Pelly, Greg Pateryn, Victor Bartley
Injured reserve:  Carey Price, Tom Gilbert

Game Report

On Wednesday, the Powerball reached a record $1.6 billion to become the biggest jackpot in U.S. history. Odds of winning the lottery were 1 in 292 million or just slightly better than David Desharnais scoring a power-play goal.

Three winners will share the top prize on tickets sold in Florida, Tennessee and California.  But there were no winners in Missouri.  It’s unfortunate because coach Michel Therrien is still waiting for his good fortune to arrive.

And while he does, the Canadiens continue to drop in the standings. To end his post-game presser Therrien said, “Puck luck is not on our side.”

After Saturday’s game, Montreal now clings to the final wild card spot in the Eastern conference.  A team that Habs fans like to scoff at, the Philadelphia Flyers, is only four points back with three games in hand.

So when Max Pacioretty says, “A good team would have won that game, an average team would have won that game,” he’s right. It may be hard for fans to hear but that doesn’t make it any less true. Since the 9-0-0 start the Canadiens stumbled to a 14-18-4 record.

That’s not good enough to be a playoff team.

In this game, the Habs were primarily a one line team. Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher had 22 shots on goal and generated two of the three Canadiens goals.

While there was a wide disparity in shots, 5-on-5 scoring chances were much closer at 21-16 for Montreal. The shot total was run up with the man advantage. Although the Canadiens power-play connected for one goal, it was a paltry 1-for-7 on the night including two brief 5-on-3 advantages.

It was a tough night for Mike Condon in the Habs goal. Condon lost track of the puck on the opening goal, missed a floater in the second period and had a communication breakdown with Mark Barberio for the tying goal with just over five minutes remaining in the third. Ben Scrivens has already been announced as the starter against the Blackhawks.

It was also a very difficult game for Desharnais who is unable to compete against the big teams from the West. Desharnais started the game losing coverage on the first Blues goal and ended the contest unable to defend Jori Lehtera on the game-winner. Desharnais had little to offer in almost six minutes of power-play time.

The Canadiens head to Chicago for a game against the Blackhawks on Sunday.

~~~

▲    Tomas Plekanec, Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty, Alexei Emelin, P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov

▼    Mike Condon, Mark Barberio, Nathan Beaulieu, David Desharnais

 Statistics 
CANADIENS BLUES
49 Shots 22
1 for 7 Power Play 0 for 2
58% Face-offs 42%
12 Penalty Minutes 32
20 Hits 26
75 Corsi For 43
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (23-18-4) 0 2 1 0 3
 Blues (26-15-7) 1 1 1 1 4
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: PPG – Subban (3), Pacioretty (18), Plekanec (9)
  • STL: Fabbri (11), Stastny (4), Rattie (2), Lehtera (6)
  • MTL: Condon (L) 12-11-4
  • STL: Elliott (W)  8-5-4
 NHL Three Stars
NHL3stars
  1. Brian Elliott  STL
  2. Jori Lehtera  STL
  3. Tomas Plekanec  MTL

 Video Highlights 

 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Michel Therrien
186237429_slide

  • “Tons of scoring chances. You can’t ask for a better effort. We certainly deserved a lot more. Even in the third period, we allowed one scoring chance, and that’s bad communication on the goal that we give up.”
  • “You can’t ask for a better effort. The effort was there. The emotion was there. We went to the net hard.”
  • “Puck luck is not on our side.”

Max Pacioretty

  • “We’re making every goalie look amazing right now, and we put up three goals though. You score three goals, you give yourself a good chance to win a game. We put up a lot of shots, we got three goals, and we’ve just got to tighten it up to the very end.
  • “We have to win that game. Just sitting here thinking what to say, there’s nothing other than we have to win that game. Up 3-2 with six minutes left, we cannot lose that game.  Good teams win that game. Average teams win that game. We have to be a good team, and we have to be a good team quickly and find ways to win games.”

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock

  •  “[Elliott] was good tonight. Montreal’s on the verge of winning quite a few games if they play like this. Their team’s healthy now. They’ve got their team that was at the start of the year back together now and they’re playing well.”

Quotes courtesy of NHL.com

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  • Bart

    Therrien says that this team is having no puck luck, that it’s snakebit. Maybe. Or maybe, it’s a bit of karma, payback from the hockey gods for the disgraceful way he treated Semin, his inexcusable misuse of youngsters, the mistreatment/abuse and demoralization of Tinordi, resulting in his regression, and finally, the disgraceful cooperation in the Scott affair. Payback’s a bitch, isn’t it, Michel!? It’s time to say to Michel, as Yogi Berra would say, “Y’er outta here, ya bum!”

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