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Canadiens vs Sharks game recap: The San Jose losing streak continues

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Habs fall 2-1, and the winless streak in San Jose continues.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at San Jose Sharks John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been over a decade since their last win in San Jose, and the Habs hoped to end the streak. They did not get off to an altogether auspicious start.

The Sharks poured on the pressure in the opening four minutes, and the Habs took a very, very delayed penalty. Brent Burns absolutely blasted one past Carey Price on the power play, opening the scoring 5:22 into the period.

The Canadiens finally got some push-back just under halfway through the first, but Martin Jones absolutely robbed Alex Galchenyuk at the side of the net.

The Canadiens’ pressure continued, but Jones was Price-like, and the momentum swung again in the Sharks’ favour.

Alexei Emelin took a boarding penalty with 6:28 left in the first, and the Sharks circled hungrily, but despite the furious pace, Price and the Habs’ defenders managed to stave off the attack.

Though Montreal got some sustained pressure late in the period from the first and fourth lines, they were unable to find the equalizer. To make matters worse, Galchenyuk missed a pass to Radulov, and Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton came back the other way. Pavelski made it 2-0 before the period ended.

The second period got off to a better start in that the Habs got a power play in the opening thirty seconds. However, that’s where the momentum ended, as San Jose held them off with ease.

Five minutes into the middle frame, Pacioretty and Gallagher had a good chance 2-on-1, which set off a flurry of Habs chances. Gallagher got a few opportunities point-blank on Jones, and Weber got off a big shot, but no one was able to solve the unflappable goalie.

At about the eight-minute mark, the Habs caused some chaos in the Sharks’ end as the fourth line, and then the first line, created some sustained pressure. Radulov beat Jones, but rang the puck off the crossbar. After 40 minutes, the Habs remained down 2-0, but had clawed their way back to tie the shots up at 23 apiece (yay score effects).



Image credit: HockeyStats.ca

The Habs got off to a good start once again in the third, putting on the pressure early, and forcing San Jose to ice the puck. They drew a power play as Logan Couture slashed Andrew Shaw’s stick from his hands at 6:17, but unfortunately Pacioretty took a bad slashing penalty after flubbing a shot to negate it about a minute later.

Though the Habs killed off the shot power play that followed, the momentum shifted back in the Sharks’ favour. Price turned aside whatever was sent his way, making a ridiculously easy-looking glove save on San Jose’s best look, and things evened out again a little.

Things got scary with four minutes remaining, as an inadvertent high stick from Couture caught Radulov frighteningly close to his eye. Thankfully Radulov would be ok, although he did require stitches. The Habs got the four-minute man advantage, but the Sharks’ aggressive play kept the Habs chasing the puck down the ice for the first two minutes.

With two minutes left, the Habs pulled Price in favour of the extra attacker, and Artturi Lehkonen spun and fired as he fell, putting the puck straight through Jones’ five hole.

With 43 seconds left, Therrien pulled Price again, but the Habs ultimately fell short, falling 2-1, in yet another loss in San Jose.

Thoughts

  • The first period was absolutely awful, but the Habs improved as the game went on, having a strong second, and a decent third, but it wasn’t enough to beat the machine that is the Sharks.
  • Michel Therrien finally blended himself around to Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-Radulov and Lehkonen-Plekanec-Gallagher, which was glorious. Maybe, since Lehkonen scored, we’ll even be allowed to keep them.
  • The Habs made far too many no-look passes that went straight onto the stick of a Sharks player.
  • Mark Barberio’s moustache is VERY impressive, and Greg Pateryn’s beard was definitely the best on the ice. Not to mention that the pair of them played a very solid game.