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Canadiens vs Devils recap: Galchenyuk scores two, but the Habs fall in OT

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It was a crazy good night for Alex Galchenyuk, but the Canadiens couldn't hang on to the two-goal lead he gave them.

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Less than 24 hours after winning a shootout against the Devils in New Jersey, the Canadiens traveled back to Montreal looking to get a second win against the same team on home ice. Mike Condon would get his second start in as many nights, as the team is of course still without the services of Carey Price.


Image Credit: HockeyStats.ca

Much like the first meeting, the game wasn't exactly action packed in the early goings. Despite outshooting the Devils 10-5, the Habs couldn't buy a goal, and the game went scoreless into the second period. Corey Schneider certainly deserved a measure of credit, as he did have to make a few good saves.

The ice seemed to tilt in the other direction early in the second period, but it was the Canadiens who struck first. Alex Galchenyuk got his stick on a Nathan Beaulieu point-shot, and the ensuing deflection was impossible for Schneider to see, let alone stop. Galchenyuk is on fire lately, and shows little sign of slowing down.

And he was not done there. When the Habs were awarded their second powerplay of the night during the third period, he pounced on a rebound in the slot, and hammered it home for his second of the night. He has really stepped up lately, and it has been an absolute treat to watch.

Not too long after the second Galchenyuk goal, the Devils got on the board and made it a game. A pinball shot from the point bounced around and eventually beat Mike Condon after Patrick Elias last touched it. That would spell trouble, as the game started to look like a mirror version of the previous night.

Surely enough, with just over 20 second to go in the third period, New Jersey would get the game tied up. Kyle Palmieri snuck a point shot through a screen, and the two teams would head to extra time for the second time in as many nights.

This time, it wouldn't go the Canadiens way, as John Moore would bang in his own rebound during a rush in overtime. Montreal got a point for their effort, but the Devils were able to exact revenge for the shootout loss in game one.

Thoughts

  • The most important takeaway from the two-game set is clearly what Alex Galchenyuk has been able to do. He's been proving all year that he belongs at centre, and in this back-to-back set he was nothing short of phenomenal. This is really starting to look like the year that he breaks out in a big way.
  • Statistically, the game was about even, and there was no domination one way or the other. The Habs did sit back quite a bit after the second goal, and in the end that is what burned them on the night.
  • Jeff Petry and Nathan Beaulieu are a pretty impressive defensive pairing. When they were on the ice, the Canadiens controlled over 55% of even-strength shot attempts. As the second act to the Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban pair, they're about as good as one could ask for right now.
  • Mike Condon played well, despite giving up three goals. The two regulation goals were screened shots, one of which looked to be redirected at least twice before it went in. On the overtime goal, he gave up a bit of a juicy rebound, but it's hard to fault him when the first save he made was pretty hard to execute.
  • It was well noted by almost everyone watching that this game was not super exciting. It was about as boring a game as you'll ever sit through, even with the magic of Bob Cole calling the game. Unfortunately some games are like that, and you just have to sit through them.
The Canadiens will now get a bit of a break to regroup. The next time they play we will have entered the month of December, when the Columbus Blue Jackets visit the Bell Centre on Tuesday.