How to watch
Start time: 11:00 PM EST / 8:00 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Canucks region: Sporstnet Pacific
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL Live
While the Montreal Canadiens didn’t exactly start their road trip the way they would have liked, falling 2-1 in a shootout, they played a good game. Right up until a breakdown in play between Phillip Danault and Ben Chiarot late (very late) in the third period.
Up until that point, it was a pretty strong performance by most of the team, seeing Jeff Petry notch his fourth power-play goal of the season and a complete shutdown of a five-on-three. But the star of the show (and I love to say this) was Carey Price.
After watching him struggle for a chunk of the season, we finally witnessed some vintage Price. He kept the Canucks off the board until the dying seconds and made a spectacular save in overtime (seriously, if you missed it because of the late game, go watch it now), but it was a five-hole-fake-turned-wrister by Canucks captain Bo Horvat in the shootout that put a damper on all that hard work.
Tale of the Tape
|55.8% (2nd)||Corsi-for pct.||48.1% (23th)|
|3.29 (5th)||Goals per game||2.79 (21st)|
|2.71 (11th)||Goals against per game||3.24 (27th)|
|22.7% (15th)||PP%||19.6% (19th)|
|77.5% (18th)||PK%||80.4% (13th)|
For the majority of the game, the Canucks struggled to create scoring chances. That is until the clock ticked down to 40.5 seconds and Adam Gaudette let loose a last-ditch effort from inside the circle. The stellar slapshot caused the puck to first ring off the post behind Price’s shoulder and in. Once again, he was inches away from a shutout, and the game was pushed to overtime.
It wasn’t a well-deserved win for Vancouver. They should have just been happy with the fact that they managed to hold Tyler Toffoli off the scoreboard for a change and leave it at that. It wasn’t for lack of trying on Toffoli’s part, with four shots on goal and two close calls.
It won’t be easy for Vancouver to pull of the series sweep. Defenseman Jordie Benn left early in the third with an undisclosed injury. They will also still have to play on without their star centre, Elias Pettersson who, after missing the last three games with an upper-body injury, is expected to be out for at least one more week.
It is true that the Canucks are playing well in the last few games, however. They are heading into tonight’s rematch riding a three-game winning streak, while the Canadiens are trying their damnedest to string together two wins in a row.
On the plus side, head coach Dominique Ducharme said that his team is ahead of schedule in adopting his strategies. With Montreal taking six out of a possible eight points in their last four contests, this looks like the turnaround we’ve all been waiting for. After Monday’s matchup, Price said, “When you’re on top of your game and you’re working in unison, the system works.” Let’s hope the Habs are working in unison again tonight.