Zane Mcintyre started in only his second game against Montreal last night, facing down Carey Price and the team that supposedly is in Tuukka Rask’s head. An intimidating task for the young netminder.
The Habs began pretty well, pressuring the Bruins’ defence and their inexperienced goaltender, but were unable to capitalize. Nevertheless, it made for a fast opening five, capped off by a thundering hit by Jeff Petry which delighted the Bell Centre faithful.
The Habs mostly carried the play, but still needed Price to make a huge save early on. At around the half-way point, the Bruins found some push-back. The Habs took the first penalty as Torrey Mitchell was called for interference against Adam McQuaid.
The Habs killed off the penalty, and Shea Weber had a very nice chance as they rushed up ice, joined by Mitchell.
I thought Habs looked good through the period, but apparently my concern over the presidential election results clouded my judgement, as they were out-shot to the tune of 14-5 through 20.
The second period didn’t begin looking good for the Habs as the Bruins hemmed the them in the own zone for long stretches at a time. Galchenyuk had a nice shot a little under two minutes in, and after that, they Habs’ pressured a little more, and got the first power play of the period as Zdeno Chara took a penalty trying to remove Daniel Carr from the Bruins crease. Opportunistic as ever, the Habs made Boston pay, and Shea Weber blasted a perfectly placed point-shot through McIntyre off a perfect bit of passing from Markov.
Unfortunately, the Habs immediately gave up another, as the puck bounced off the end boards, off the back of Price’s pad, and into the net. In a rare case of goalie support, however, Alexander Radulov came the other way immediately afterward, and passed a wildly bouncing puck to Alex Galchenyuk, who was somehow able to take the pass, settle it down, and put it in over McIntire.
Matt Belesky was called for ruffing against Andrei Markov mere seconds after that, and a wild minute and ten seconds of the second period continued. Though it was one of their better power plays, they were unable to capitalize.
Unfortunately after their electric stretch, the Bruins were able to put pressure on the Habs, out shooting them in the second 14-7. After the whistle, a scrum developed, with the result
Just under five minutes into the period, Emelin went to the box for interference, but Carey Price was up for the challenge, turning one shot aside with his head, and shortly thereafter smothering the puck. Unfortunately, with mere seconds to go, Pasternak put a point shot through a screen to tie the game up. The rest of the third period was bad. The Habs got out-shot (surprise), out-hustled, and out-possessed, in the game by the grace of Price.
So of course, that meant with 1:02 left to go, Paul Byron picked up the puck in a wild scramble in front of the net, and slipped it past McIntire to give the Habs the lead. Boston challenged for goaltender interference, but the goal stood. Boston pulled McIntire with 50 seconds left to go, but Mitchell won some key draws, and Price stood tall as ever, giving the Habs the win.
- Alexei Emelin looked good early on. He made a great hit early on that wasn’t so much a hit as a separation of player from puck. He also swatted the puck away from danger on the penalty kill to really great effect.
- At some point this ridiculous bubble is going to burst, and it’s going to get really ugly. It already IS ugly, but the Habs have Price, and are actually getting scoring still, so here we are.
- Being out-shot 43-23 is...very not good, and it’s definitely become a trend at this point that very much needs to be reversed if the Habs are to maintain any sort of sustainable...anything, really.