Forward lines and defense pairings
Pacioretty – Byron – Hudon
Galchenyuk – Drouin – Scherbak
Lehkonen – Plekanec – Gallagher
Deslauriers – Froese – L. Shaw
Alzner – Petry
Mete – Schlemko
Morrow – Benn
Jacob De La Rose, Daniel Carr, Jakub Jerabek
Ales Hemsky – concussion, Shea Weber – lower-body, Phillip Danault – concussion, Andrew Shaw – lower-body
Blame it on the ‘D’!. We have heard that phrase a lot this season from Canadiens fans. Today, there’s no doubt that you can accurately lay the win at the feet of the Canadiens defence.
Four of Montreal’s five goals came from blueliners in this matinee at the Bell Centre. The Habs defence stepped up, with two goals from Jeff Petry, a Joe Morrow blast and David Schlemko’s first as a Canadien. Sitting near the bottom of the league all season in offensive contributions from the back end, this was a welcome surprise.
It was also a banner day for the Habs power-play with a 43 percent success rate. The Ducks have a middle-of-the-road penalty-kill but let’s not take anything anyway from Montreal with the man advantage. Given the difficulty scoring goals at any strength, today’s output should help their confidence.
A nice story was Logan Shaw picking up his first goal in a Montreal jersey against his former team. More good news came in the person of recently recalled Nikita Scherbak. Not only did Scherbak notch his first NHL assist, he looked very dangerous in his paltry 10:41 of icetime.
If there was a negative in the on-ice performance, it was the Habs sitting on a lead in the third period. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle lamented that his team did not take advantage of the Canadiens saying, “The most disappointing part for me was our inability to mount more of a comeback. And they just sat back in the third and we played into their hands. We just allowed them to retrieve pucks ahead of us and we got frustrated.”
▲ Alex Galchenyuk, Jeff Petry, Antti Niemi, Nikita Scherbak
▼ Claude Julien