Forward lines and defense pairings
Pacioretty – Danault – Radulov
Byron – Galchenyuk – Gallagher
Lehkonen – Plekanec – Shaw
Flynn – McCarron – Mitchell
Emelin – Weber
Markov – Petry
Beaulieu – Pateryn
David Desharnais, Sven Andrighetto, Nikita Nesterov
Postgame head coach Claude Julien said that “it wasn’t a perfect game.” That was an understatement. A fast, talented Rangers team exploited the Canadiens defence and steamrolled Montreal’s fourth line. But this was a gutsy effort by a Canadiens team who are adapting to new systems and were playing a road game against one of the league’s hottest teams.
Julien liked the “work ethic.” There were definitely positive signs of life.
Carey Price was outstanding. Unbelievable save after unbelievable save kept his team in the game including a spectacular spot with just a few seconds remaining in overtime.
Shea Weber looked like one of the top-3 best defencemen in the league. Weber had a goal and an assist in 25:38 of icetime. The unfairly maligned Alexei Emelin was solid, chipping in with an assist.
Andrei Markov played his second superb game in a row. His vision and passes are jaw-dropping. Markov had an assist in almost 25 minutes of icetime.
Artturi Lehkonen earned special praise from the head coach for doing everything well. Lehkonen’s centre, Tomas Plekanec had a good game, coming close to ending it in overtime with a shot off the post. The third member of the line had more mixed results. Andrew Shaw opened the scoring for the Canadiens but took an undisciplined penalty with less than five minutes to play in the game.
The penalty-kill was more aggressive, going perfect on the night. The power-play was 1-for-3 with Weber getting his 11th power-play goal of the season.
So a big win and several steps forward by the Canadiens. But, be warned, this is a work in progress. It will take weeks for Julien to implement his systems and game plan. And much longer to rebuild trashed confidence.
▲ Carey Price, Andrei Markov, Shea Weber, Tomas Plekanec, Artturi Lehkonen
▼ Torrey Mitchell, Brian Flynn, Michael McCarron