Forward lines and defense pairings
Pacioretty – Galchenyuk – Radulov
Byron – Plekanec – Gallagher
Lehkonen – Danault – Shaw
King – Ott – Mitchell
Markov – Weber
Emelin – Petry
Beaulieu – Benn
Brandon Davidson, Brian Flynn, Michael McCarron, Andreas Martinsen, Nikita Nesterov
You know the formula. Canadiens play on the perimeter for the first two periods, bring offensive pressure in the third and score in the last five minutes in the game.
It has worked well to date with the Habs piling up overtime and shootout wins in the Claude Julien era. But not on this night.
The Canadiens have a favorable schedule, with games remaining against teams out of the playoffs with the exception of Ottawa. The Red Wings are next to last in the conference and, having played on Monday night, two points should have been there for the picking for Montreal.
But goals are still not coming easily whether 5-on-5, or with the man advantage. Currently, the Canadiens are on a 1-for-21 run on the power-play.
The trio of Alex Galchenyuk, Max Pacioretty and Alexander Radulov is not clicking right now. And the head coach was not hiding the fact that his talented centre is not playing well. “[Alex Galchenyuk] didn’t have a good game tonight. He’s going to tell you the same thing. It was a tough night for him,” said Claude Julien.
So with time winding down in the third period, Julien “split [the top line] up because there was nothing going on there. We needed a goal.” And Julien got his wish. Artturi Lehkonen capped off a superb effort tonight with the game-tying goal.
Post-game, the coach said that overnight, he would give some thought to his trios. It seems that the writing is on the wall that Galchenyuk will not be centering Pacioretty and Radulov on Thursday night against the Hurricanes. Expect changes at Wednesday’s practice.
▲ Artturi Lehkonen, Alexei Emelin, Jeff Petry
▼ Alex Galchenyuk