Forward lines and defense pairings:
Pacioretty – Plekanec – Smith-Pelly
Eller – Galchenyuk – Andrighetto
Fleischmann – Desharnais – Weise
Byron – Flynn – Holloway
Markov – Subban
Pateryn – Petry
Beaulieu – Gilbert
Injured reserve: Brendan Gallagher, Torrey Mitchell (lower-body), Carey Price, Alex Semin
Suspended: Zack Kassian
There is something about the Canadiens playing in New Jersey. Add to the mix that it was a Friday night game and you have the makings of a very dull game. One fan called it a tryptophan coma.
The sluggish Canadiens managed just five shots in the opening period, their lowest output of the season. The high-flying Habs who skated circles around the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night were no where to be found. By the midpoint of the game, the Devils enjoyed a 2-0 lead.
Once again, it was Lars Eller who cued the turnaround. Eller carried the puck into the Devils zone sliding a perfect no-look pass to Sven Andrighetto who fired a knuckleball that fooled goaltender Cory Schneider. It’s always been a false narrative that the Dane has no hockey sense, it’s just sounding more foolish this season.
The Eller, Andrighetto, Alex Galchenyuk trio was the best line for the Canadiens on this night and have been for the past three games.
In the third period with Devante Smith-Pelly unable to repeat his MSG performance, Galchenyuk was loaned to the top line playing on the right side of Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty. The captain fed Galchenyuk who skated the length of the ice of a highlight reel tying goal.
Galchenyuk and Andrighetto would each score again in the shootout leading the Canadiens to a comeback road win.
The two teams play again on Saturday with the Devils visiting the Bell Centre.
▲ Alex Galchenyuk, Lars Eller, Sven Andrighetto, Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Markov
▼ Paul Byron, Devante Smith-Pelly, Greg Pateryn, P.K. Subban, Bud Holloway, David Desharnais