Forward lines and defense pairings
Hudon – Plekanec – Lehkonen
Byron – Danault – Shaw
Galchenyuk – Holland – Scherbak
Martinsen – Froese – McCarron
Alzner – Petry
Mete – Benn
Davidson – Jerabek
Al Montoya (neck), David Schlemko (hand), Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Drouin, Brendan Gallagher, Jacob De La Rose, Torrey Mitchell, Ales Hemsky, Daniel Carr, Shea Weber, Mark Streit, Joe Morrow, Eric Gelinas
Injuries – prospects
Jeremiah Addison (shoulder), Josh Brook (wrist), Noah Juulsen (foot)
It would be silly to label this a must-win game for the Canadiens, but the victory helped calm the waters for now. Yet another loss would have ignited full-out panic by Habs fans.
It was an important win coming against a Panthers team icing their best in their final game before the regular season.
The line led by Tomas Plekanec that has displayed good chemistry during the pre-season was rather quiet in this one. Instead, the Paul Byron and Andrew Shaw show. The line centred by Phillip Danault looks like it has the potential of remaining together.
This was Alex Galchenyuk’s best game of the exhibition schedule. But the puzzle remains: where will he play? Galchenyuk needs to play with skilled, offensive players which limits him to playing with Max Pacioretty and Jonathan Drouin. But given his mental mistakes Claude Julien has had Galchenyuk playing further down the roster in the pre-season.
The defense was better in this game. It appears that Karl Alzner and Jeff Petry will be fine for now. Victor Mete made just a few mistakes but overall had a solid game while it was Jordie Benn that had his fair share of struggles.
The best player in this game, by far, was Charlie Lindgren. The young goaltender was calm, poised and, on several occasions, bailed out his teammates when they committed a turnover.
The Canadiens have one more pre-season tune-up that Julien promises will feature a lineup very close to what we will see opening night. The Canadiens meet the Senators on Saturday night at 7:00 pm. at the Bell Centre.
▲ Charlie Lindgren, Alex Galchenyuk, Andrew Shaw, Victor Mete, Jakub Jerabek
▼ Jordie Benn