Recap – Canadiens vs Blue Jackets: Habs Power-play Fuels Comeback

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Game 42, Away Game 22 | Wednesday January 14, 2015
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH.





(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Lineup scratches: Mike Weaver, Christian Thomas

Game Notes:

PP matters.  The Canadiens power-play has received extra attention recently but has been a season-long problem.  The scrutiny is justified given that the Canadiens are a top team while the power-play is one of the worst in the league.  Throughout this there are voices who would have you believe that in the modern NHL, power-play success simply doesn’t matter.  Well that was proved wrong on Wednesday night with the Canadiens scoring all three of their goals with the man advantage for the win.

Play your best. Fans have been understandably frustrated that while the Canadiens power-play has been woeful for more than a season that Michel Therrien continued to use the same scheme and personnel. That changed.  With the Canadiens power-play 0-for-4 on the night, the Blue Jackets continued to take penalties. P.K. Subban had what Therrien generously described as a “difficult night.”  That provided the opportunity for Sergei Gonchar and Andrei Markov to be paired on the power-play point with Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher up front. The five were very effective.  The Habs also benefited from facing the 23rd ranked penalty-kill.

Where’s the line?  In the first period an apparent Canadiens goal was waved off after review.  The puck seemed to cross the goal line after being deflected by Brendan Gallagher before being scissored away by Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Referee Frederick L’Ecuyer was caught out of position and approached the goal from the corner with obvious confusion. Had he been in proper position to make the call the goal would have counted.  The NHL situation room simply didn’t have definitive enough information to overturn the call on the ice.

Plus / Minus

▲    Tomas Plekanec, Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Andrei Markov, Sergei Gonchar, Alexei Emelin, Lars Eller

▼    P.K. Subban, Nathan Beaulieu

31 Shots 16
3 for 7 Power Play 1 for 1
59% Face-offs 41%
6 Penalty Mins 16
20 Hits 35
44 Fenwick For 29
61 Corsi For 36
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens  (27-12-3) 0 0 3 3
 Blue Jackets (18-20-3) 1 0 1 2
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL:  Pacioretty (19), Subban (9), Pacioretty (20)
  • CBJ:  Connauton (7), Johansen (16)
  • MTL: Price (W) 23-10-2
  • CBJ: Bobrovsky (L) 15-13-2
 NHL Three Stars
  1.  Max Pacioretty  MTL
  2.  Andrei Markov  MTL
  3.  Sergei Bobrovsky  CBJ

 Video Highlights

 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Michel Therrien

  • “We made some adjustments that paid dividends. They allowed us to go get that win. We got into trouble with some bad penalties. That gave them a chance to score the second goal with less than 10 minutes to go. I liked the way we responded with our power play, though.
  • “The line of Pacioretty, Plekanec and Gallagher was a constant threat all game long. Max and Tomas have played with one another on the penalty kill for a while now. There’s already some chemistry there. We’ve made some changes and we think those are the best possible decisions.”

Max Pacioretty

  • “Power play was big topic this week. We talked about in the media. We talked about it in the room and we watched a lot of clips. We knew that we had to go the same way and just wait for our bounces and momentum. That’s what happened.”
  • “It seemed like all three of us on our line were one-touch moving it. We found open areas and we had some chemistry. Pleky is a guy I haven’t played much with, but whenever guys play with him they have success because he knows what he’s doing and he’s simple to play with. That’s why we had a lot of chances. He made our line go. It’s fun to play with him.”

Brendan Gallagher

  • “I’m not really sure what made the difference. I think we just won a lot of battles. We wanted the puck and we worked it around. We just kept it really simple. We got pucks to the net. Once we started shooting, it opened up other things. We were able to create some chances and we were able to score some goals.”
  • “I’ve played with both of them before. I thought we worked well together. We were able to create some chances. Nobody was holding on to the puck for too long. We worked it around pretty good. It’s only one game. We know it’s going to get tougher. It’s going to be a challenge, but I think as a line we’re excited for that.”

Columbus coach Todd Richards

  • “It’s penalties. We took three, two in the offensive zone; the last with five minutes to go. The last one was not good. It’s tough to compare (the loss) to other ones. It’s disappointing. This one bothers me the way we fought really hard to lose this game.”
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