They are young, they are talented, they will lose a lot of games this season, but the Montreal Canadiens learned something about the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday night. They don't give up!
An Oilers team, with an abundance of First Round picks on their roster, rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 4-3 overtime victory.
Even when this team is appears down and out, there resilience and youth keep trying, and trying. The Canadiens obviously were unaware of that, heading into tonight's game.
The Oilers are a team forced to learn the NHL fundamentals as they go, and at an early age. There is not time to develop in Edmonton system for many of their players. They are a team willing to take a risk. After all, what does a last place team have to lose?
The Canadiens meanwhile, had their chances and were foiled by Devan Dubnyk, who made 36 saves to earn his second win of the season. Montreal had 17 shots blocked, and another 11 missed the goal, so opportunities were there.
It was turnovers that became the Canadiens downfall on the night. Montreal made a dozen of them and the Oilers capitalized on two. One to tie the game and another to win the game.
Montreal's power play was a bright side to a point, converting on two of three chances with goals from Scott Gomez and Mathieu Darche. Then again, the Oilers have the worst penalty killing in the NHL, so it should be pretty easy.
Holding onto a 3-2 lead, the Habs were given another chance with the man advantage, just past the midway point of the third period, to get an insurance goal. It didn't happen.
Again the Canadiens forgot to read the book on their opposition. Yes, there probably should have been a tripping call, but the turnover was already created. In any event Sam Gagner fooled Carey Price into playing the pass, on a 2-on-1, and found a gap between him and the post. Tie game.
A Mike Cammalleri turnover in overtime (did he see the P.K. Subban pass?) led to a breakaway for Dustin Penner, who beat Price five-hole for the win.
The Canadiens goalie had to play a strong game early on making 28 saves, many outstanding. The Kurtis Foster power play goal was a bullet, reminiscent of Sheldon Souray, and the Canadiens goaltender had no support in front on the Ales Hemsky goal. With his team collapsing though, Price's confidence began to wain and was notable on the final two goals.
The loss continues the trend of win-lose-win-lose that has follows the Habs over the last couple weeks.
The Canadiens now travel to New Jersey, to face a Martin Brodeur -less Devils team, on Thursday night.
On a night of awards and milestones: The win spoiled a home-coming welcome for the Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes, who were introduced before the game began. Price was awarded the Molson Cup segment for November before the game as well.
It was also Jaroslav Spacek's 800th career game. Roman Hamrlik recorded his 600th career point, on the Darche goal, and netted his 150th career goal to give the Canadiens their two-goal lead.
Taylor Hall: Despite recording no points, the Canadiens and viewers saw that this kid is the real deal. Three shots on goal, three that were blocked and three missed the net in 16:46 TOI. He also blocked a shot and showed he won't be intimidated on the ice.
First Round picks on both teams in tonight's game: Anyone get a count?? I ran out of fingers.
Tweet of the night: From Georges Laraque - "Habs fans here's 3 reason for Carey Price turn around 1 he has a serious girl 2 she lives with him 3 he doesn't party anymore."
Pacioretty paces Dogs past Heat: Max Pacioretty, the AHL's player of the month in November, scored his 12th and 13th goals of the season for the Hamilton Bulldogs in a 4-3 shootout win over the Abbotsford Heat. Complete game sheet