Recap – Canadiens vs Ducks: Habs Drop Another to Pacific Hosts

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(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Game 64, Away Game 31 | Wednesday March 4, 2015
Honda Center, Anaheim, CA.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

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DUCKS
Anaheim

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

 

 

Lineup scratches: P.A. Parenteau, Manny Malhotra, Mike Weaver
Injured reserve:  Alexei Emelin (upper-body)

Game Notes:

The Anaheim Ducks are a very good team: big, well-coached and have good goaltending. For the Habs, it`s one of three.  The Ducks dumped pucks into corners all night, away from Carey Price and in keeping with their game plan to target the Canadiens best defenseman. P.K. Subban was pounded all night, was a minus-2 and was victimized by former teammate Jiri Sekac coughing up the puck for the game-winning goal.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau deployed the Ryan Getzlaf line against David Desharnais and company. It was no contest.  In more than 19 minutes of icetime supplemented by three Canadiens power-plays Desharnais had zero shots on goal.  Desharnais had a rough night in the faceoff circle losing the draw that led to Cam Fowler’s empty-net goal with the Canadiens down by two.

Max Pacioretty had eight shots but was limited to just one in the third period.  Post-game Pacioretty regretted that most shots came from the perimeter.  When pressed even Michel Therrien admitted than Anaheim did a good job “boxing out our players.”

The fourth line looked overwhelmed and were hemmed in the defensive zone often. Anaheim’s fourth line trio of Nate Thompson, Andrew Cogliano and Patrick Maroon were clearly superior. Brian Flynn and Torrey Mitchell were on the ice for both even strength goals finishing the game a combined minus-4.  A silver lining for Flynn was a 70 per cent success rate at the faceoff dot.

The Ducks aggressively forechecked and slowed down the Canadiens in the neutral zone.  And when Montreal entered the Anaheim zone, they were content to shoot from the outside rarely getting to rebounds for second shot chances.

This was not a night that Habs fans could complain about officiating. Montreal was the recipient of two power-plays in the second period on questionable calls.  And the Canadiens did precisely nothing on the power-play.  After playing well in the first period, two failed power-plays handed momentum to Anaheim. The Ducks colour analyst (and former Habs goaltender) Brian Hayward questioned the wisdom of using Desharnais on the power-play given his size and unwillingness to go to the net.  Despite more than 148 minutes of power-play time, Desharnais has just two goals this season and hasn’t scored since December 18th on the man advantage.

The Canadiens have been one of the top faceoff teams in the league all season. But for the second straight game, they were dominated by their opponent.  The Habs best faceoff man was in the press box and the second best was playing left wing.  Lars Eller won the one faceoff he was asked to take. He also had seven shots on goal, second only to Pacioretty.

Since December 18th, the Canadiens are winless against teams from the Pacific Division with a record of 0-4-1. The Habs have been outscored 16-7. They have two more games this week against the Pacific.

Plus / Minus

▲     Carey Price, Max Pacioretty, Lars Eller, Brendan Gallagher

▼     Alex Galchenyuk, Tom Gilbert, Bryan Flynn, Torrey Mitchell, David Desharnais, P.K. Subban, Nathan Beaulieu, Dale Weise

 Statistics
CANADIENS DUCKS
38 Shots 33
1 for 3 Power Play 0 for 1
46% Face-offs 54%
7 Penalty Mins 11
29 Hits 27
47 Fenwick For 45
61 Corsi For 57
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens  (41-18-5) 0 0 1 1
 Ducks (42-17-7) 1 1 1 3
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL:  Galchenyuk (19)
  • ANA:  Beauchemin (8), Rakell (6), Fowler (6)
  • MTL: Price (L) 36-13-3
  • ANA: Gibson (W) 9-5-0
 NHL Three Stars
NHL3stars
  1.  John Gibson  ANA
  2.  Francois Beauchemin  ANA
  3.  Jiri Sekac  ANA

 Video Highlights

 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Michel Therrien
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  • “I liked the way we played. We competed hard. This is an elite team. I liked the way we pushed the pace. We put a lot of pucks at the net. We had some quality scoring chances tonight and the difference tonight was their goalie. He was phenomenal.”
  • “(Lars) Eller played really well. He won a lot of battles.”

P.K. Subban

  • “I don’t think we’re losing momentum. [Overall], you can just focus on the process, you can’t focus on anything else. You try to focus on the process, and hopefully it’s in your favor. In this case, we’ve done enough to win hockey games, win this hockey game. It just didn’t bounce our way today.”

Max Pacioretty

  • “We’ve had a lack of scoring on the road and I think it’s because we play a little bit too much on the perimeter. Obviously, the shots are there and we had a couple of chances to score, but I think when we’re playing against a big team like that, we’ve got to get between the dots and find ways to jam pucks in.”

Ducks goaltender John Gibson

  • “We knew it was a big game coming in. It was a battle for first place in the league. Obviously we pay attention to that stuff, too. It was a big game and it was nice.”
  • “I thought the team did a really good job. There were a couple of chances in the first period, but after that I thought they really kept a lot of it on the outside. That made my job easier.”

Ducks forward Jiri Sekac

  • “I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty good feeling, and I’m very happy we beat the Habs. Nothing gets better than beating the team you used to play for.”
  • “I was very excited. Even the start was pretty tough for me. I think I was way too excited. I didn’t make plays at the beginning. Then it got better later, and it ended up as a great game for the whole team.”

Sharks coach Bruce Boudreau

  • “It almost looked like Freddie (Andersen) played real well last night, and John (Gibson) said, ‘Oh, yeah? I’ll show you!’ and he comes in and plays great. It’s a great problem for the coach to have.”
  • “I thought as [Jiri Sekac] settled in, handled the puck well and made good plays.”
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