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Canadiens vs Ducks recap: Oh, Johnny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling

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John Gibson makes 39 saves, shuts down Habs offence

Montreal Canadiens v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Sometimes you Carey Price the other team and sometimes the other team Carey Prices you.

John Gibson made 39 saves for the win as the Montreal Canadiens couldn’t convert on enough of their scoring chances. The end result was a 2-1 loss on Wednesday night to the Anaheim Ducks in California.

Rickard Rakell and Cam Fowler scored for the Ducks. Andrew Shaw answered for the Canadiens.

Price was very good for the Habs as he made 36 saves in a losing effort and many of them on quality chances. It wasn’t necessarily a deserved loss for the Canadiens. The game was pretty even, but Anaheim got the bounces it needed and Montreal did not.

Hockeystats.ca

After Montreal got off to a great start, outshooting Anaheim 7-0, and getting an early power play, they allowed an odd-man rush and Carey Price needed to come up huge on Ryan Getzlaf for his first save of the game. The play likely would have resulted in a sure goal if it was on any other goaltender.

That was the best scoring chance for either team on the power play, but shortly after the man advantage, Tomas Plekanec centered the puck for Pacioretty who sent it just wide.

With five minutes to go, two players who get under the other team’s skin, Andrew Shaw and Corey Perry, fought each other in a battle that was more grappling than punching.

Late in the first period with Shea Weber off for roughing, Rickard Rakell potted home a Ryan Kesler rebound past Price to open the scoring with 3:10 left in the period.

David Desharnais broke in on John Gibson with under 15 seconds left, but wasn’t able to beat the Ducks’ goalie.

Despite outshooting the Ducks 17-10, the Habs would go into the first intermission trailing 1-0.

In the second period, the teams traded some scoring chances to begin, but both goaltenders stood tall, including some big saves by Price on Perry and Andrew Cogliano.

Alexander Radulov would have the Canadiens best scoring chance of the game when he beat Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen for a breakaway, but Gibson again made the save.

Brendan Gallagher continued his snake-bitten ways when a Torrey Mitchell pass on a 2-on-1 went right over his stick and he was unable to reel it in.

Not long after, Jakob Silfverberg found Cam Fowler in the slot and the shot hit off of Alex Galchenyuk’s stick and past Price to give Anaheim a 2-0 lead.

David Desharnais had a good game and had a great chance in front with under four minutes left, but Gibson once again made the save.

At the end of the second period, Price made a couple of huge saves that could have put the game out of reach: a huge glove save on Perry and another at the buzzer on Vatanen.

After the Canadiens killed a 5-on-3 early in the third period, they came back strong. Artturi Lehkonen just missed a chance in front and shortly after, Alexander Radulov found Galchenyuk at the right circle but Galchenyuk hit the outside of the net.

Radulov and Paul Byron would combine for more chances, as well.

With two minutes left in the period, Michel Therrien pulled Carey Price and after some furious pressure, Shaw pounced on a loose puck in front and finally broke Gibson’s shutout and gave the Habs a chance.

Then, in the final minute Shaw was called for hooking and then after breaking his stick was given a 10 minute misconduct and subsequently broke the stick rack.

Antoine Vermette gave the Habs a last hope when he took a penalty six seconds later, but the Canadiens couldn’t muster a final shot as the clock expired.

Thoughts:

  • Alexander Radulov created something practically every time he was on the ice. He has real chemistry with Alex Galchenyuk and they continue to be really fun to watch.
  • I thought Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, and Brendan Gallagher created some opportunities. They are struggling, yes, but I feel them being able to create will allow the goals to come in bunches.
  • Mark Barberio is playing like we all expected Nathan Beaulieu to play. He jumps in at the right spots in the offensive zone and acts at times like a fourth forward. I really like what he’s been showing.
  • The second period was not very good, but all in all it was an encouraging game. The Habs will win more games than they lose when they play like they played last night. They just didn’t convert on their chances and didn’t get the right bounces.
  • I don’t mind Andrew Shaw’s emotion. Yes, he was called for a penalty that could have cost his team the game, and it’s the second time it’s happened recently, but it was something that doesn’t get called often and I understand the emotion. It’s not ideal, but it’s what happens when emotions are high.