FINAL (SO) | Game 41, Home Game 21 | Thursday January 4, 2018 
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

2-1

LIGHTNING
Tampa Bay

(Photo by Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)

Lineup

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

Goaltenders

Price
Niemi

Scratches

Daniel Carr, Byron Froese

Injuries

Ales Hemsky – concussion, Al Montoya – concussion, Shea Weber – lower-body

Game Report 

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

 Statistics 
CANADIENS   LIGHTNING
38 Shots 45
48% Face-offs 52%
0-for-2 Power Play 0-for-2
4 Penalty Minutes 4
31 Hits 33
73 Corsi For 73
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (17-20-4) 0 1 0 0 1 2
 Lightning (29-8-3) 0 1 0 0 0 1
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: Pacioretty (9); game-deciding goal: Byron
  • TBL: Kucherov (26)
  • MTL: Price (W) 12-14-2
  • TBL: Vasilevskiy (L) 26-5-2
 NHL Three Stars

NHL3stars
  1. Carey Price  MTL
  2. Andrei Vasilevskiy TBL
  3. Max Pacioretty  MTL

 Video Highlights 
 Post-game Press Conference
Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper

  • “I was about to walk off the bench, I thought it was in the net, and I saw the replay. Price got his pad on it, and he’s been doing it for years. And I feel like we’ve had a really close look at it for playoff series and all the times we get to play them. But he’s a special talent back there and anytime you play Montreal they have a chance to win the game, no matter what, because he’s in net.”

Max Pacioretty

  • “We have the best building to play in, we have a fast ice, a fast team, fast boards, and that leads to entertaining hockey. Last game, we were upset with our game, we were upset we didn’t give the fans anything really to cheer about. So tonight, to get them involved and see them having fun makes you remember why we’re playing here and why it’s special to play in this building.”
  • “The coach called a lot of the top guys in yesterday and said I’m going to challenge you guys to get us out of this. He said: ‘I’m going to play the crap out of you and it’s up to you guys now.’ I think we rose to the occasion tonight.”

Paul Byron

  • “It was unbelievable. Just when you think he’s made every save in the book [Carey Price] goes and makes one like that. It’s incredible. He won us the game with that save. He made many others in the game when we had breakdowns.”

Quotes courtesy of NHL.com

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