|Game 23, Away Game 9 | Tuesday November 29, 2016
Honda Center, Anaheim, CA.
Forward lines and defense pairings
Byron – Galchenyuk – Radulov
Pacioretty – Plekanec – Gallagher
Lehkonen – Desharnais – Shaw
Carr – Mitchell – Danault
Emelin – Weber
Markov – Petry
Barberio – Pateryn
Chris Terry, Zach Redmond
Brian Flynn (upper body), Nathan Beaulieu (upper body)
The Canadiens came out flying. Three minutes into the game, shots were 7-0 for the visitors.
Indeed. The Canadiens used their speed effectively to press Anaheim’s defence. But as I tweeted at the time, it was going to be difficult for the Habs to maintain the pace.
That statement turned out to be absolutely correct. It was crucial then for the Canadiens to capitalize on their chances while they had the momentum. Despite getting 17 shots on goal in the first period (35 shot attempts), Montreal came up empty.
They missed an opportunity to dictate the style of play for the opposition, dent the confidence of a young goaltender playing in a big game and take the crowd out of the contest.
Not unexpectedly, the Ducks pushed back towards the end of the first period and throughout the second taking control of the game. Carey Price was the only player holding the Canadiens in the game. A power-play goal and a shot that deflected off Alex Galchenyuk’s stick were the only pucks to beat Price.
The Habs shot total by the end of the night was impressive. Anaheim goaltender John Gibson had a strong game with 39 saves. But low quality shots, losing puck battles and ineffective pursuit of rebounds was a problem particularly in the third period.
With the last change Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle did a masterful job of ensuring Alex Galchenyuk saw a steady diet of Ryan Kesler and company. Alexander Radulov did his best contributing six shots on goal but Galchenyuk and Paul Byron had just one shot between them. It’s time to see what Artturi Lehkonen can do on the top line.
The third defence pairing has been a weak spot for most of the season but Greg Pateryn and Mark Barberio held their own in 15 minutes of play against the big Anaheim forwards. Not great, but good. Alexei Emelin had another strong game with five shots on goal and four hits.
The Canadiens third line is in serious need of talent (perhaps in the form of Mike McCarron) and some discipline. What happened to the character player that Marc Bergevin committed to for six years at the tidy sum of $23.4 million? Stan Bowman is again looking like a genius offloading Andrew Shaw and picking up outstanding prospects Alex DeBrincat and Chad Krys.
▲ Carey Price, Alexei Emelin, Alexander Radulov, Greg Pateryn, Artturi Lehkonen
▼ David Desharnais, Andrew Shaw
|0 for 3||Power Play||1 for 4|
|NHL Three Stars|
|Post-game Press Conference|
|Coach Michel Therrien
Quotes courtesy of NHL.com
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