Game 65, Home Game 33 | Thursday March 2, 2017 
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

2-1

PREDATORS
Nashville

(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings 

Pacioretty – Danault – Radulov
Lehkonen – Galchenyuk – Gallagher
Byron – Plekanec – Shaw
King – McCarron – Mitchell

Markov – Weber
Emelin – Petry
Beaulieu – Benn

Goaltenders

Price
Montoya

Scratches

Brian Flynn, Andreas Martinsen, Brandon Davidson, Nikita Nesterov, Steve Ott

Injured Reserve

Game Report

There was a sustained ovation, some tears and rather loud boos tonight at the Bell Centre. And all three of those involved P.K. Subban. It was that kind of night on Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montreal: a fitting tribute from the organization, a chance to express gratitude from the fans and genuine emotion from Subban.

But apart from the sideshow (which mostly has been led by a fawning media), there was a very important hockey game to be played. There couldn’t have been a better response to the Subban hoopla than Shea Weber staring down Sportsnet’s Kyle Bukauskas during his first intermission interview. It was a reminder: this is serious business.

So what was at stake? The Canadiens were emerging from a month where they failed to win a game in regulation time. On the other hand, the Predators have been the third hottest team in calendar year 2017, riding their high-powered offence that has recorded 42 goals in the past 10 games.

To end the game with a win, having given up just one power-play goal to Nashville, is indicative that Carey Price was the best player on the ice. But credit is also due to Claude Julien’s remade defensive structure. With the exception of Nathan Beaulieu, the defence corps was solid.

Now, if only Julien could work his magic on the Habs offence. Prior to Brendan Gallagher’s tying goal midway through the third period, the Canadiens had gone more than 220 minutes in regulation time without a goal. For Gallagher, it was just his seventh goal of the season.

Montreal had just five shots in the first period. And while they upped the shot count in the second, they were not manufacturing scoring chances. It’s been Max Pacioretty and Alexander Radulov who have primarily provided the offence recently, along with Alex Galchenyuk when he has been given the chance.

But the regular centre of the top line, Phillip Danault, hasn’t shown the creativity to match with Radulov and Pacioretty. Worse, he has been unable to anticipate the play of his more skilled linemates.

While some argued that the addition of size would open up lanes for the smaller Habs players, that wasn’t the case tonight. Gallagher’s goal came on a Nashville miscue as Brendan drove to the net. Paul Byron’s game-winner came as he won a foot race.

The Canadiens now head to Madison Square Garden for a Saturday night match against the Rangers. It will be interesting to see whether their newly found secondary scoring will continue or was just an aberration.

~~~

▲     Carey Price, Paul Byron, Brendan Gallagher, Michael McCarron, Andrei Markov, Jordie Benn, Alexei Emelin, Jeff Petry, Shea Weber

▼     Phillip Danault, Tomas Plekanec, Nathan Beaulieu

 Statistics 
CANADIENS   PREDATORS
26 Shots 25
45% Face-offs 55%
0 for 3 Power Play 1 for 2
4 Penalty Minutes 6
28 Hits 39
53 Corsi For 58
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (36-21-8) 0 0 2 2
 Predators (32-23-9) 1 0 0 1
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: Gallagher (7), Byron (15)
  • NSH: Ellis (11)
  • MTL: Price (W) 28-16-5
  • NSH: Bobrovsky (L) 25-16-6
 NHL Three Stars

NHL3stars
  1.  Paul Byron  MTL
  2.  Carey Price  MTL
  3.  Pekka Rinne  NSH

 Video Highlights 
 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Claude Julien

Paul Byron

  • “It was a little close there, it almost went to another overtime.”
  • “I don’t think I beat him with a clean shot. I have no idea where it rolled or how it went in, but I was going into the boards so fast I didn’t really even see where the puck went.”
  • “I think it hit my stick and kind of bounced up and put the puck in a footrace position and I just beat him to it. I didn’t see the puck roll in but I got a good bounce on it.”

Brendan Gallagher

  • “I think [Claude Julien] is a big part of it. The message that he’s given us behind the bench since he got here is that we’re going to have to be able to win these types of games moving forward.”
  • “It’s a good test for us every single night. It doesn’t really matter if things have gone our way or not, we’ve got to find a way to make every game close and competitive. We weren’t playing great and we weren’t playing poorly — it was just a game where not much was happening — but we came out in the third period and found a way to score two goals. Going forward, that gives our group a lot of confidence.”

Carey Price

  • “There’s nothing scientific about it. The only thing you have to do is keep pounding away at it and hopefully it goes your way.”

Predators defenceman P.K. Subban

  • “I think that’s the first time I’ve been booed at the Bell Centre. I kind of enjoyed that.”

Quotes courtesy of NHL.com

 Social Media: Follow @AllHabs on Twitter
https://twitter.com/CanadiensMTL/status/837461161121546240

https://twitter.com/BramptonBeast/status/837447996883230721

Follow @AllHabs on Twitter

Be sure to follow @AllHabs on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube

  • Philip Turnbull

    excellent game..excellent tribute…we managed to pull it out in the third and we got 2 guys who needed a goal badly to score , so a very positive outcome