Recap – Blue Jackets vs Canadiens: Pacioretty Scores Twice, Price Does the Rest

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(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
Game 59, Home Game 32 | Saturday February 22, 2015
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

3-1

BLUE JACKETS
Columbus

(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

 

Lineup scratches: Mike Weaver, Alexei Emelin (upper-body), Alex Galchenyuk (flu)
Injured reserve: P.A. Parenteau (concussion symptoms), Sergei Gonchar (upper-body)

Game Notes:

The script was a little different at the Bell Centre on Saturday. The Canadiens came out strong, with Max Pacioretty scoring a power-play goal before the three minute-mark in the first period.  Pacioretty picked up his second with just under seven minutes left in the first for a 2-0 lead.  About a minute later, Nick Foligno got Columbus on the board.  There was no further scoring until the last minute of the game with Tomas Plekanec picking up an empty-net goal.

For the final 40 minutes of the game it was the Blue Jackets who carried the play outshooting the Canadiens 21-11.  But this part was quite familiar. It was Carey Price who, once again secured the win, preserving a one-goal lead for better than two periods.

But besides Price and Pacioretty, this night belonged to.. Sergei Gonchar. While Gonchar is presently on injured reserve, the fruits of his labor were very evident on the ice.  Gonchar is largely responsible for the dramatic turnaround in Nathan Beaulieu’s season.  For two seasons, when called up to the Canadiens, Beaulieu has shown his smooth skating ability and  snippets of offensive flair but has looked like a deer in the headlights in his own zone.  He’s had a dreadful time reading opposition plays in the Canadiens zone.

As Beaulieu said himself, he was creating two scoring chances per game and giving up six.  Seemingly, the tutelage of assistant coach J.J. Daigneault was not having much impact. But when Beaulieu got a chance to work with the veteran Sergei Gonchar, magic happened. Beaulieu has made great strides to improve his defensive game under the mentorship of Gonchar and has increased confidence when switching to offense.

Beaulieu picked up an assist on Pacioretty’s game-winning goal, while, perhaps more significantly, blocking six shots in 23:45 of ice-time.  It’s further evidence that Beaulieu’s defense game continues to come along.

Plus / Minus

▲     Carey Price, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Markov, Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi, Brendan Gallagher, Tom Gilbert

▼     Brandon Prust, Michael Bournival, P.K. Subban

 Statistics
CANADIENS BLUE JACKETS
24 Shots 32
1 for 3 Power Play 0 for 4
45% Face-offs 55%
18 Penalty Mins 16
25 Hits 46
31 Fenwick For 39
50 Corsi For 69
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens  (38-16-5) 2 0 1 3
 Blue Jackets (26-28-3) 1 0 0 1
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL:  Pacioretty (28), Pacioretty (29), Plekanec (18) – EN
  • CBJ:  Foligno (23)
  • MTL: Price (W) 33-11-3
  • CBJ: McElhinney (L) 10-10-1
 NHL Three Stars
NHL3stars
  1.  Max Pacioretty  MTL
  2.  Carey Price  MTL
  3.  Nick Foligno  CBJ

 Video Highlights

 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Michel Therrien
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  • “Those kids are really hungry and they did really well again tonight. (Jarred) Tinordi was physical and (Christian) Thomas is intense. He’s a guy who’s going hard and is all in all the time. I’m not saying you like to see fights, but it’s obvious he’s trying to make an impact on this team.”
  • “[Nathan Beaulieu] is a fantastic skater, and with his confidence he’s capable to make better decisions. And he’s showing a lot more poise than he did earlier in the season, so that’s a good thing for him.

Max Pacioretty

  • “Tell me how many wins we have, and that’s my milestone this year. It feels so good when we win and this team’s special, and I really mean that, and it’s a lot of fun winning with this group.”
  • “To have the wheels to pick up that puck and to go along the wall and have your head up and make a play, that’s world class and hopefully a play like that can carry over as the season goes on because the sky’s the limit for that kid and [Nathan Beaulieu] played great [Saturday].”
  • “[Scoring those two early goals] was amazing, but the best feeling for me – I think the difference tonight – were all our call ups. We’ve faced a lot of adversity with some injuries recently, but when you see guys like (Jarred) Tinordi, (Nathan) Beaulieu, (Greg) Pateryn, (Christian) Thomas, and (Jacob) De La Rose feeling comfortable out there, I think that’s the difference. I’m really happy for them, because they were the next men up and they’ve done a great job so far.”

Nathan Beaulieu

  • “Max (Pacioretty) is so good at getting in those soft areas. He did it on the first goal, and a goal-scorer knows where to go in the area, so I just had to feed it. It was a great shot, so good job for him.”

Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen

  • “It’s always tough losing close games, and we had some opportunities where Price either made some great saves or we just missed. Look at Cam’s opportunity where it hits both posts, that could have been a difference maker. It was a good game; give them credit. They’re a good team and they played well and did a lot of good things, and we were unable to tie it up, so that’s the way she went tonight.”

Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards

  • “II thought both goaltenders played well. [Carey Price] made some big saves too, and Curtis made some big saves for us. I think that’s what he’s been doing, so we’ve come to expect Curtis (McElhinney) to play at that level.”
  • “We got through the first period, and I thought once we hit the second and third we were playing our game. And you’ve got to give credit to them because they played a hard game too.”
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To look back at the full lineups for tonight’s game, check the Game Day preview.
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