FINAL | Game 26, Home Game 14 | Wednesday November 29, 2017 
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

2-1

SENATORS
Ottawa

(Photo by Paul Chiasson / Canadian Press)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings 

Galchenyuk – Drouin – Byron
Pacioretty – Danault – Shaw
Hudon – Plekanec – Gallagher 
Deslauriers – De La Rose – Froese

Alzner – Petry
Morrow – Benn
Schlemko – Jerabek

Goaltenders

Price
Niemi

Scratches

Brandon Davidson, Victor Mete

Injuries

Ales Hemsky – concussion, Nikita Scherbak – knee,  Al Montoya – concussion, Artturi Lehkonen – lower-body, Shea Weber – lower-body

Game Report

After 26 games, the Canadiens have 25 points placing them 25th in the NHL. Yet Montreal finds themselves four points out of a wild card spot and just one point behind the Bruins who occupy the third spot in the Atlantic division. The Bruins have three games in hand. 

Consequently, the Rasmus Dahlin chatter has been silenced with the Canadiens back in the playoff conversation. Also rather quiet these days are those who were, not so long ago, were jumping on the ‘trade Price’ bandwagon. And those whining about his contract that is not yet in force.

There is good reason.

Price has been the genesis of the Canadiens rebound. Since his return, Price has stopped 100 of 102 opposition shots. In three games, Price has given up one even-strength goal.

With the Habs scoring just one even-strength goal in each of those three games, it has been up to Price to carry the load. Now, can we talk about his current contract? Is there a bigger bargain in hockey than Carey Price?

There have been baby steps when it comes to improvements in the Canadiens defense. In the absence of Shea Weber, Jeff Petry has taken on a bigger role. But it hasn’t been blemish free as we saw in the first period of tonight’s game as Petry offered little resistance to Mark Stone’s shorthanded goal.

Karl Alzner appears that he is adapting to coach Julien’s defensive scheme. Jordie Benn is a serviceable third-pairing defenseman but has been put in a role above his head far too often this season.

David Schlemko was fine for his debut in a Canadiens jersey. He made smart plays and was able to move the puck but Schlemko was guilty of a few gaffes in the first period. Jakub Jerabek has been steady since his addition to the lineup bringing consistent performances to the third-pairing like we have yet to see this season.

But where is the corresponding improvement on offense? As mentioned, the Canadiens scored just three even-strength goals in the past three games.

And it can’t be ignored that wins came against two of the three worst teams in the Eastern conference. The Senators have won just two of their last ten games.

So before you start making those playoff plans, Marc Bergevin has some work to do to make this brief upswing into something more permanent and reliable.

~~~

▲     Carey Price

▼    Nicolas Deslauriers, Byron Froese, Alex Galchenyuk

 Statistics 
CANADIENS   SENATORS
31 Shots 28
65% Face-offs 35%
0-for-2 Power Play 0-for-3
6 Penalty Minutes 4
30 Hits 41
61 Corsi For 65
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (11-12-3) 0 2 0 2
 Senators (8-9-6) 1 0 0 1
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: Drouin (5), Danault (4)
  • OTT: Stone (14)-SHG
  • MTL: Price (W) 6-7-1
  • OTT: Condon (L) 1-1-3
 NHL Three Stars

NHL3stars
 

  1. Jonathan Drouin  MTL
  2. Mark Stone  OTT
  3. Karl Alzner  MTL

 Video Highlights 
 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Claude Julien

  • “[David Schlemko] is a good puck-mover. He gets shots on the net. He’s a real smart player. He’s making good decisions and he has a sense of calmness.”

Karl Alzner

  • “You know you can mess up a little bit out there and [Carey Price] is most likely going to back you up, and that’s something that feels pretty good. And what a joy it is having him play the puck the way he does, it saves you from getting hit quite a bit.”

Jonathan Drouin

  • “You come into the room, you see how focused [Carey Price] is and you know he’s going to have a good night. He’s so composed out there, it’s actually kind of crazy to look at. He comes to the bench and he’s not sweating almost, just so relaxed, and it’s a first for me to see that, but so composed and gives us so much confidence playing.”

Quotes courtesy of NHL.com

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