Recap – Canadiens vs Blue Jackets: Markov, Subban Lead Habs to 3rd Straight Win

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Game 61, Away Game 29 | Thursday February 26, 2015
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH.





(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)



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

Game Notes:

The Blues and the Blue Jackets were just what the doctor ordered for the Canadiens who have been the league’s most unproductive first period team this season. Both shades of blue teams have struggled with their starts.  Again on Thursday night Montreal took advantage with P.K. Subban scoring just 1:49 into the game on a clean offensive faceoff win by Manny Malhotra and a perfect setup from Andrei Markov.

With three first period goals, the Habs now have 31 in the opening 20 minutes in 61 games which ties them with the Buffalo Sabres.  Last season Montreal finished in the top-10 for goals scored in the first period.  But good starts two games in a row, each ending in a 5-2 result.

It was an outstanding game from one of the top defensive duos in the league, Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban.  Combined they were an astonishing plus-10. Markov had a goal and an assist while Subban had a goal and two assists.  Max Pacioretty had the game-winning goal, his 30th of the season, on four shots on goal (tied for tops on the team.)  Also with four shots was Jacob de la Rose who scored his first two goals in the NHL.

Carey Price made 25 saves for his record-setting 10th straight road victory.

Coach Michel Therrien experimented with Devante Smith-Pelly trying him on different lines and situations.  It was an unremarkable but competent first game with two shots on goal and four hits finishing at a minus-1 rating.

After being the recipient of numerous bouquets the past few games, Nathan Beaulieu took a step back. Beaulieu struggled in the defensive zone and was primarily responsible for both goals against. Some adventures on the third pairing as well led Therrien to switch up the defense partners with Beaulieu playing with Greg Pateryn and Jarred Tinordi matched with Tom Gilbert.

Plus / Minus

▲     Andrei Markov, P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty, Carey Price, Jacob de la Rose, Brendan Gallagher

▼     Nathan Beaulieu, Alex Galchenyuk

27 Shots 27
0 for 2 Power Play 0 for 2
48% Face-offs 52%
4 Penalty Mins 4
19 Hits 32
34 Fenwick For 36
46 Corsi For 48
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens  (40-16-5) 3 0 2 5
 Blue Jackets (26-30-4) 1 0 1 2
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL:  Subban (12), Markov (8), Pacioretty (30), De la Rose (1), De la Rose (2)
  • CBJ:  Backes (20), Oshie (17)
  • MTL: Price (W) 35-11-3
  • CBJ: McElhinney (L) 10-11-2
 NHL Three Stars
  1.  P.K. Subban  MTL
  2.  Andrei Markov  MTL
  3.  Marko Dano  CBJ

 Video Highlights

 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Michel Therrien

  • “[Andrei Markov and P.K. Subban] played a fantastic game. They controlled the game. They were good offensively. They were really solid defensively as well. They’re transition and passing was really sharp.”
  • “These games aren’t always easy to play, especially after we won a big, emotional game in St Louis. The important thing coming here was to have a good start and we were able to do that, we got the lead in the first period.”
  • “[Jacob de la Rose] is playing with a lot of confidence. He’s a very responsible player. He’s responsible in his positioning when he doesn’t have the puck and when he has it as well. He doesn’t force plays. He always makes good decisions when he has puck possession. We’re really happy with a young player his age. Usually, youngsters have a tendency to force plays and they get themselves in trouble. When you watch him play, though, he never gets into trouble.”

Max Pacioretty

  • “It was a lot of fun. I think we played pretty well offensively. There were a couple too many turnovers, but it was good to see the boys make plays and get rewarded, especially guys like Rosie.”
  • “It’s a lot of fun when guys like that get their first goal. They definitely get some momentum off of that.”

Jacob de la Rose

  • “It’s a great feeling. I’ve been waiting for it. I was trying to get a stick on it and I felt something touch my stick. I didn’t know at first.”
  • “Every game I’m battling for a spot next year. I think I can make an impression right now.”
  • “I’m just happy with my game. It means a lot. I worked hard and I did everything I could for the team.”

P.K. Subban

  • “We had a good start. That’s what we wanted. We were ready. We’ve done a good job of that of late, especially the second half. It’s important now, especially now with teams being competitive trying to make the playoffs.”
  • “I’m happy for [Jacob de la Rose.] He’s been playing good hockey. He could’ve had it a couple of games ago, but for it to come like this, in such a meaningful game, is really something. He’s playing well. He’s well-liked in the room. He’s a good-looking guy. It’s great to see him have a two-goal night. After he scores, he’s just so pretty that he doesn’t even have to celebrate. He just has to smile. He’s just a good-looking guy.”

Devante Smith-Pelly

  • “It’s a lot different than Anaheim in most situations. I thought I did all right for the first time tonight.”
  • “It was fun, you don’t really know what to expect with a new team but I’m starting to feel comfortable, still trying to learn the new system but once I do, it’ll be alright.”

Blue Jackets goalie Curtis McElhinney

  • “Our themes lately have been tough first periods. That comes back on my part. I could have been a lot better in that first period for this team.”

Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards

  • “It’s disappointing. The routines, what we do (to prepare), it’s what we’ve done in the past. But for whatever reason, this year, the message is not hitting home.”
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