Forward lines and defense pairings
Galchenyuk – Drouin – Lehkonen
Pacioretty – Danault – Hudon
Byron – Plekanec – Gallagher
Deslauriers – De La Rose – Shaw
Benn – Jerabek
Alzner – Petry
Morrow – Schlemko
Daniel Carr, Byron Froese
Ales Hemsky – concussion, Al Montoya – concussion, Shea Weber – lower-body
The Montreal Canadiens beat the best team in the NHL by registering one goal scored. Just one.
There is no other credible explanation than Carey Price, with a superb performance, won this hockey game. Price made 44 stops. Facing the best offensive team in the league, Price made multiple outstanding saves as the Lightning created high-quality scoring chances.
Price stared down the NHL’s most dangerous scorer, Nikita Kucherov, on a breakaway. And the Canadiens goaltender stopped all three shootout attempts by the Lightning including Kucherov (26 goals, 57 points), Steven Stamkos (50 points) and Brayden Point (36 points.) By comparison, the Habs offensive leader has 22 points.
And if all of that wasn’t enough, Price made two extraordinary saves in overtime on Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat that was unbelievable. Overall, it was a heroic performance.
The Cinderella script was complete as Max Pacioretty scored his ninth goal of the season, ending a 13-game drought. And the captain played a strong game in all zones.
Post-game, Pacioretty said, “That’s the most fun I’ve had playing hockey in a long time.” Price said that it was one of the more fun overtimes that he has played. It was a very entertaining game for fans in the Bell Centre and watching on TV.
The players-only meeting following Tuesday’s game undoubtedly played a part in tonight’s effort.
So, could this game be the start of a turnaround or a run to capture a playoff spot? No, likely not. But it will be one of the high points when we look back at this season.
Enjoy it, savour it! But stay realistic.
▲▲ Carey Price
▲ Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Jacob De La Rose
▼ Karl Alzner, Jonathan Drouin