Forward lines and defense pairings
Pacioretty – Drouin – Gallagher
Hudon – Plekanec – Lehkonen
Galchenyuk – Danault – Shaw
Byron – De La Rose – Hemsky
Mete – Weber
Alzner – Petry
Streit – Benn
Al Montoya (neck), David Schlemko (hand), Torrey Mitchell, Joe Morrow, Eric Gelinas, Brandon Davidson, Byron Froese, Andreas Martinsen
Injuries – prospects
Jeremiah Addison (shoulder), Josh Brook (wrist), Noah Juulsen (foot)
This game didn’t start well. Alex Galchenyuk took a tripping penalty at the three second mark of the game. On the ensuing power-play, Kyle Turris found the back of the net. The Bell Centre faithful, some still finding their seats, were stunned that the Canadiens were down 1-0 just 22 seconds into the contest.
Brendan Gallagher has been added to the first line to dig pucks and to create space for his linemates. Gallagher’s tenaciousness netted himself a goal midway through the opening period.
Before the first frame was done, Galchenyuk atoned for his earlier mistake by scoring his first goal of the exhibition schedule finding some chemistry with linemate Phillip Danault, missing heretofore in the pre-season. And just to put an exclamation point on his period, Galchenyuk set up Andrew Shaw to for the Canadiens second goal in the final minute of the first.
As the siren sounded to end the first stanza, Senators forward Max McCormick ran over Victor Mete. The Canadiens cavalry arrived to stand up for their rookie and that momentum carried forward to the second period.
The Senators did not get a shot on goal for the first 15 minutes of the second, seemingly buying into Claude Julien’s new system devised to limit shots. A Shea Weber power-play blast have the Canadiens a three-goal cushion heading into the second intermission.
The Senators decided to end their pre-season early mailing in the third period. The flood gates opened for Montreal. Most notably, Jacob De La Rose got a chance to show his offensive talent scoring twice. It was appropriate that Mete capped off the pre-season with the Canadiens final goal of the night.
Montreal followed the Julien game plan in this game, holding an offensively-talented team to just 17 shots. And, maybe for the first time this calendar year, the pre-season mattered to Canadiens fans.
The players will have the next two days off as coaches and management huddle to make final roster decisions. Byron Frose, Andreas Martinsen, and Torrey Mitchell will be anxiously waiting to hear where they will be playing this season. On the defensive side, Joe Morrow, Mark Streit, Brandon Davidson and Eric Gelinas are on the bubble.
The Canadiens open the regular season on Thursday when they face the Sabres in Buffalo.
▲ Carey Price, Alex Galchenyuk, Jacob De La Rose, Shea Weber, Victor Mete, Brendan Gallagher
▼ Mark Streit