Recap – Canadiens vs Panthers: Habs Squeak Out A Win in South Florida

(Photo by Jeff Sanzare/NHLI via Getty Images)
Game 37, Away Game 19 | Tuesday December 30, 2014
BB&T Center, Sunrise, FL.





(Photo by Jeff Sanzare/NHLI via Getty Images)
Lineup scratches: Mike Weaver, Manny Malhotra, Bryan Allen

Game Notes:

Not pretty. The Canadiens will have a day off on Wednesday and will ring in the new year in South Florida celebrating a win in their last game of the calendar year.  The game wasn’t a gem but it is another two points.  Turnovers, sloppy play with both good and bad goaltending at either end were featured in the game.

Blunders galore.  The Panthers Roberto Luongo wasn’t happy with the goal he allowed to Brendan Gallagher who wobbled a shot through a screen.  P.K. Subban made a major error in judgement leaving his man wide open on a hunch that the puck would be sent around the boards.  It wasn’t.  Nick Bjugstad was all alone for the tying goal with just 1:49 left in the third period. Dustin Tokarski made an ill-advised attempt to play the puck in overtime which almost ended the game.  Late in the third period, P.A. Parenteau took a lazy penalty in the offensive zone that provided the Panthers with momentum prior to their game-tying goal.

Did the job.  It was a confidence-boosting game for Dustin Tokarski.  Primed by his two-game conditioning stint in Hamilton, Tokarski tracked the puck well and limited his rebounds.  He didn’t allow a goal in the shootout.

Faceoffs. The Canadiens have been near the top of the league in faceoffs all season in large measure due to the addition of Manny Malhotra.  The fourth line centre not only leads the league in faceoff success (62.4%), he has mentored his fellow centres to improve their effectiveness.  Lars Eller is sixth in the league.  Coach Michel Therrien decided to sit Malhotra in this game in favor of Michael Bournival.  While Bournival is a media darling for his effort, the results leave a lot to be desired.  Bournival had two shots on goal in his 8:13 of icetime and the Canadiens lost the faceoff battle for a rare time this season winning just 44 per cent of the draws.

Defense.  The defensive pairing of Tom Gilbert and Alexei Emelin can raise the blood pressure of fans but both played more than twenty minutes in this game. Each player had two hits and Gilbert added three blocked shots.  While both Gilbert and Emelin have been authors of their own miscues, it should be noted that the pair was on the ice in this game most often with players not known for their backchecking.

Home game. It was another home game away from home for the Canadiens with 19,614 in attendance at BB&T Center, the largest crowd of the year, with the vast majority being Habs fans.  It was the largest since the Canadiens drew 19,891 last season for their New Year’s visit.

Plus / Minus

▲    Lars Eller, Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Markov, Nathan Beaulieu, Tom Gilbert, Brendan Gallagher

▼    P.A. Parenteau, P.K. Subban, Dale Weise

34 Shots 37
0 for 2 Power Play 0 for 3
44% Face-offs 56%
6 Penalty Mins 4
21 Hits 32
43 Fenwick For 49
52 Corsi For 64
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens  (24-11-2) 0 1 0 0 1 2
 Panthers (16-9-9) 0 0 1 0 0 1
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL:  Gallagher (11)  shootout winner: Parenteau
  • FLA:  Bjugstad(13)
  • MTL: Tokarski (W) 4-2-1
  • FLA: Luongo (L) 14-7-7
 NHL Three Stars
  1.  Dustin Tokarski  MTL
  2.  P.A. Parenteau  MTL
  3.  Roberto Luongo  FLA

 Video Highlights

 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Michel Therrien

  • “[P.A. Parenteau] has got that magic touch in that shootout. That was a huge point, a huge point when you get to the end of the season. He’s certainly got that magic touch.”

P.A. Parenteau

  • “I was trying to go high glove and I went low glove. I missed my shot, really, to be honest with you guys.”

Brendan Gallagher

  • “I was really just trying to put it on net. I shot it through a screen, so I knew it would be a little tougher to pick up. He had made some pretty big saves earlier, so it was nice to see one squeak through.”

Panthers coach Gerard Gallant

  • “It was a good hockey game. Two teams battled real hard and there were some good chances both ways, great goaltending. We got a big point, but when you get that close, you want that second one.”
  • “I saw (Dustin) Tokarski last year and he was real good. He’s a solid guy and real good goaltender.”
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  1. Subban may of been in the wrong place, but where was Desharnais. He covered a player who was already covered. Its time David is told he is part of the problem. He is coaches pet. Subban takes a lot of blame just because he is on the ice.

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