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Canadiens vs Predators recap: Carey Price saves the game, P.K. Subban steals it

After the slowest start in the history of slow starts, the Habs two best players came up big against Nashville.

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Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens as a whole did not play a great game last night. Fortunately for the Canadiens, they have Carey Price. True to form, the Habs  came out extremely slow, and Price would have to be sharp in his first period of action back from injury.

And sharp, he was. The first period is best described as one in which the game could have gotten out of hand if not for Price. The Habs surrendered a rather large first period shot deficit, and most had Nashville ahead by around 7-1 in the scoring chance department. Price was solid, and didn't show any signs of a problem in his first period back to action.

It took 11 minutes for the Habs to register a single shot on goal in the second period. As slow starts go, this one really takes the cake. Eventually Nashville's attack broke through. It took a screened Seth Jones point shot tipped by former Hab Mike Ribeiro to finally beat Price on Nashville's 26th shot of the night. Montreal's shot total at that point, six.

As good as Carey Price was in this game, there was no way you could legitimately expect him to keep the score even at zero with the rate at which Montreal was being out-chanced. Following the goal, they did however wake up a little, and began to cut into the massive shot differential. Dominated through two, but only down a goal, they were still in the game due to their goaltender, and starting to get back into it.

Fortunately for the Montreal Canadiens, they also have P.K. Subban. As the Habs began to turn the tide a little, they were eventually rewarded with a third period powerplay. Subban fired a beautiful slap pass right on the tape of Alex Galchenyuk, who made no mistake in tying the game. Subban was a big part in helping them get back into this one, and he along with Carey Price essentially dragged the Canadiens into overtime.

In overtime, much to the chagrin of Preds coach Peter Laviolette, the Habs would get a powerplay opportunity, and P.K. Subban took to the ice. It was a pretty long powerplay shift, but at the end of it he unleashed a rocket past Carter Hutton to win the game for his team

Subban and Price come up big

These two really carried their team on the night. Whether or not Carey Price would even be start this game wasn't known until a few hours before puck drop. He rebounded quickly from his minor injury, and certainly appeared no worse for wear during his 36 save performance. There's not much more to say about Carey Price's season thus far that hasn't already been said. He's been phenomenal, and by now he should be well in the conversation for the Hart and Vezina trophies.

Last night, when P.K. Subban was on the ice, the Habs controlled 62% of shot attempts compared to 41.7% with him off the ice. His even strength 62% CF was second only to Tom Gilbert, and his powerplay game-winner was scored at the tail end of a pretty long OT shift. Subban really put the team on his back offensively in this one, as the team struggled to generate much at all when he wasn't on the ice. How is this guy not going to the All-Star Game?

The rest?

Well it wasn't the worst game ever, but there weren't many bright spots either. Alex Galchenyuk played well, as did his linemate David Desharnais. Tom Gilbert and Alexei Emelin had a surprisingly good statistical night, and Emelin made a huge play to save a potential Mike Ribeiro goal late in the third.

The most apparent and pressing issue, is that Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec are struggling to bear the weight of Dale Weise on the right wing. It has been a pretty rough go for that trio, and seems to have not-so-coincidentally cooled Pacioretty's scoring. It is high time to call Dale Weise on that line a failed experiment, and attempt to replace him with someone whodoesn't act as an anchor to the team's best scorer.

To get out of that game with a win should be considered very lucky. Relying on the performances of two players in a team sport is certainly not a strategy conducive to long term success. Those two players in the case of Montreal may be very good, but on most nights, a game like this winds up being a loss.