FINAL | Game 63, Home Game 34 | Wednesday February 28, 2018 
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

3-1

ISLANDERS
New York

(Photo by Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings 

Pacioretty – Drouin – Lehkonen
Galchenyuk – Danault – Hudon
Byron – De La Rose – Gallagher
A. Shaw – Froese – Scherbak

Mete – Petry
Alzner – Juulsen
Reilly – Benn

Goaltenders

Niemi
Lindgren

Scratches

Nicolas Deslauriers, Logan Shaw, David Schlemko, Daniel Carr

Injuries

Ales Hemsky – concussion, Shea Weber – lower-body, Carey Price – concussion

Game Report 

It was so quiet at the Bell Centre.

Part of the reason was just how empty the arenas was on Wednesday night. On-ice conversations were easily heard.

And there weren’t really many opportunities for the incompetent game presentation staff to fill the building with the usual ear-splitting cacophony of sounds. The game proceeded quickly going long stretches, sometimes seven and eight minutes, without a whistle.

There had to be some astonishment, as well, at what the folks were seeing on the ice. Clown shoes. There is no other description for the first period.

Three shorthanded breakaways for the Islanders on the same penalty? The teams abandoning the notion of defensive responsibility? It was like a pond hockey game at a considerable upcharge.

In the end, the Canadiens took advantage of weak goaltending by Jaroslav Halak and a lazy defensive effort by the Islanders. In turn, the Habs received inspired performances from their young players: Nikita Scherbak, Jacob De La Rose and Artturi Lehkonen.

With the playoffs out of sight, the bar is set low. Fans are looking for a sign of hope for the future. It is why the Canadiens should be using the final 19 games to give the youngsters the experience that will be valuable next season.

Post-game Claude Julien lamented his lineup choices given the current roster and a desire to recall a few players from Laval. Perhaps his boss should have been more active at the trade deadline in what was an obvious sellers market.

===

▲  Nikita Scherbak, Jacob De La Rose, Artturi Lehkonen, Antti Niemi

▼  

 Statistics 
CANADIENS   ISLANDERS
26 Shots 28
58% Face-offs 42%
1-for-2 Power Play 0-for-2
4 Penalty Minutes 4
18 Hits 39
50 Corsi For 82
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (24-29-10) 1 2 0 3
 Islanders (29-28-7) 1 0 0 1
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: Byron (15), Drouin (10)-PPG, Scherbak (2)
  • NYI: Barzal (18)
  • MTL: Niemi (L) 4-6-2
  • NYI: Halak (W) 18-21-5
 NHL Three Stars

NHL3stars
  1. Antti Niemi  MTL
  2. Jonathan Drouin  MTL
  3. Mathew Barzal  NYI

 Video Highlights 
 Post-game Press Conference
Claude Julien

  • “[Mike Reilly] played well for a guy who was playing his first game with us. He was pretty at ease. I liked his decisions with the puck. He moves well. He has good mobility. We’re better on the defensive side of things with the additions of Reilly and Juulsen. We’ve got a better balance of players who are good defensively, so we’re moving the puck a lot better and we’re spending less time in our own zone.”

Nikita Scherbak

  • “I’m just trying to play a 200-foot game, not just be an offensive guy who plays with the puck. I’m trying to put a lot of attention on my play without the puck, to be in a position to support the play. Small details. Outside of hockey, I’m getting some sleep, trying to eat healthy stuff. That’s probably the biggest thing.”

Jonathan Drouin

  • “[Nikita Scherbak] is a natural talent with the puck. He skates well and he’s capable of creating scoring chances. He doesn’t need anyone to create those chances for him. With time, he’ll be even better.”

Islanders coach Doug Weight

  • “I think they had three chances in the second period, and they scored on two. It was disappointing to be down. It felt like we did a lot of good things, but give them credit, they battled, they got in shot lanes and we kind of didn’t take advantage of some good hard work we had. A couple of empty net looks, and a couple of really good chances down the slot, we didn’t bury it.”

Quotes courtesy of NHL.com

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