Recap – Maple Leafs vs Canadiens: Price Posts Sixth Shutout to Lead Habs

(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
Game 62, Home Game 33 | Saturday February 28, 2015
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC.





(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)



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

Game Notes:

When Phil Kessel’s fan-tossed jersey landed on the Bell Centre ice, the camera zoomed in on the Leafs sniper.  And the look on his face said everything about why Marc Bergevin shouldn’t be interested in him (or anyone else) from the great Maple Leaf sell-off.  The Canadiens are a tight, happy group of players who are playing hard for each other.  They were thrilled for Manny Malhotra when he scored his first goal of the season.

Their leader, Carey Price, had another very good game to end an outstanding month of February.  Price not only picked up his sixth shutout of the season but spearheaded a good many breakouts while making hilight reel saves.  Even the Toronto-centric HNIC crew tossed a few compliments his way.

They didn’t score a goal but Max Pacioretty was dominant, Brendan Gallagher created havoc in the Maple Leaf crease and Lars Eller worked doggedly on every shift and was solid on the penalty-kill.  Andrei Markov played a team high 24:24 picking up an assist while blocking three shots.  Greg Pateryn led the team with six hits.  Jacob de la Rose was best in the faceoff circle at 64 per cent.

Not that the Canadiens were clicking on all cylinders. P.K. Subban had six giveaways and took a couple of bad penalties. Alex Galchenyuk had a far too blank scoresheet ending the game with zero shots.  Devante Smith-Pelly had a surprisingly quiet night playing against his boyhood team with his family in the stands.  Nathan Beaulieu and Michael Bournival combined for six giveaways and no shots on goal.

But against the Leafs the Habs didn’t have to be at the top of their game. That will change as they head out on the road for a four game trip to California and Arizona next week.

So if not Kessel and Dion Phaneuf, who could help the Canadiens without breaking up their chemistry? One rumour that won’t go away is Bergevin’s interest in Jeff Petry from the Oilers. Edmonton as much as signalled that Petry is a lock to be on the move as he was a healthy-scratch from their game on Saturday against the Blues.  The Oilers are reported to be interested in goaltending prospect Zach Fucale.  With the jury still out on whether Fucale will ever make it to the NHL, this would seem to be a logical upgrade without losing anyone from the roster.

P.A. Parenteau is on his way back to the lineup but his effectiveness this season has been most felt in the shootout.. something that disappears once the playoffs begin.  So it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Bergevin landed some offensive help.  Rick Dudley has been a regular at Los Angeles Kings games lately and the Canadiens have been scouting their farm team the Manchester Monarchs.

So by the time the Canadiens suit up for their next game on Monday in San Jose, they may have a new player or two in the lineup but hopefully not at the expense of the strong chemistry that presently exists among this team.

Plus / Minus

▲▲ Carey Price

▲     Brendan Gallagher, Manny Malhotra, Lars Eller, Max Pacioretty, Andrei Markov, Jacob de la Rose, Greg Pateryn, Tomas Plekanec

▼     P.K. Subban, Nathan Beaulieu, Alex Galchenyuk, Smith-Pelly, Michael Bournival

23 Shots 30
0 for 4 Power Play 0 for 3
53% Face-offs 47%
8 Penalty Mins 8
19 Hits 40
37 Fenwick For 41
49 Corsi For 60
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens  (41-16-5) 2 0 2 4
 Maple Leafs (26-30-4) 0 0 0 0
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL:  Malhotra (1), Plekanec (19), Desharnais (10), Desharnais (11)-EN
  • TOR:  No scoring.
  • MTL: Price (W) 36-11-3
  • TOR: Bernier (L) 18-19-5
 NHL Three Stars
  1.  Carey Price  MTL
  2.  David Desharnais  MTL
  3.  Manny Malhotra  MTL

 Video Highlights

 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Michel Therrien

  • “[Manny Malhotra] doesn’t score often, but tonight he scored the game-winner. We all saw the way the players reacted to it. He brings a lot to this team. He’s a veteran player who works hard and says the right things in the dressing room. We’re all really happy for him.”

Manny Malhotra

  • “I waited long enough. Obviously it’s nice to contribute on the offensive side of things. It gets more and more frustrating the longer the games go by and you’re not scoring, but it came at a good time and fortunately we’re continuing our winning ways. Everyone was happy for me. In a dressing room like ours, we’re all pulling for each other.”
  • “[Dale Weise] made an incredible play there. He had the opportunity himself; he sucked the [defense] to him and gave me a free walk down Broadway, so it was a great play by him, very unselfish hockey, and I think that’s been kind of our trademark this year.”
  • “You saw on the empty net goal (Max) Pacioretty didn’t go for it himself; he went for the smart hockey play unselfishly and let (David) Desharnais get the goal. That’s becoming a part of our DNA here.”

Brendan Gallagher

  • “We’ve got a big challenge ahead of us, heading out on that road trip. It’s not going to be easy, but we’re leaving on a good note. We’ve been playing pretty good road hockey lately, so we’re confident going anywhere, but we know this is going to be as tough a test as we’re going to get, so I think we’re excited for the challenge.”

Carey Price

  • “[Manny Malhotra getting a goal] is awesome. It’s really good to see a guy who works so hard, who’s so committed to playing on the defensive side of the puck get rewarded like that.”

Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf

  • “He’s been unbelievable for their team all year. He’s been extremely consistent. I think he’s one of the top goalies in the League consistently year after year, and this year I would say he’s probably the top goalie in the League. He’s very well positioned, he fights through traffic very well.”

Maple Leafs coach Peter Horachek

  • “They only had 11 shots after two periods. We turned over that first goal, they have an empty-net goal, the third goal was clearly goalie interference. We did it to ourselves on the turnover, but I thought there was some good compete there.”
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