Recap – Penguins vs Canadiens: Habs Fade, Lose in OT to Pens

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(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
Game 41, Home Game 20 | Saturday January 10, 2015
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

1-2

PENGUINS
Pittsburgh

(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
Lineup scratches: Mike Weaver, Manny Malhotra

Game Notes:

All-Star.  While there was an abundance of silly moaning about P.K. Subban not being named to the All-Star Game, there was an underwhelming response to Carey Price’s nomination. Perhaps it has become expected that Price will be the best player on the ice each and every game. Because he does. And Saturday was no exception, with Price making numerous spectacular to frustrate the Penguins, particularly Sidney Crosby. As the Canadiens faded in the third period and overtime, Price was relied on even more.

Man advantage? There is no ‘power’ in the Canadiens power-play and there is certainly no ‘advantage’ in getting one. And this, after coach Michel Therrien put special emphasis on it in practice all week. So when Therrien says he wasn’t happy with the power-play, he needs only look in the mirror for who to blame.  Some would have you believe that a impotent power-play has no effect on the Canadiens success.  Two losses this week against teams that the Habs could be meeting in the playoffs suggest otherwise.  The power-play is now ranked 28th with only Florida and Buffalo worse. Therrien’s power-play scheme and personnel choices have been a miserable failure for a season and a half. Change is long overdue.

4th line.  The trio of Sven Andrighetto, Michael Bournival and Christian Thomas showed some jump in their roughly nine minutes of icetime. But let’s be serious, deploying them (at home, no less) against the Evgeni Malkin line at the end of the second period was a colossal blunder by Therrien.  In addition, the decision to sit Manny Malhotra again backfired as the Canadiens gave up a power-play goal and were dominated in the faceoff circle.

Plus / Minus

▲▲ Carey Price

▲    Tomas Plekanec, P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov, Max Pacioretty, Nathan Beaulieu, Lars Eller

▼    Tom Gilbert, Alex Galchenyuk, Jiri Sekac, Michel Therrien

 Statistics
CANADIENS PENGUINS
28 Shots 37
0 for 4 Power Play 1 for 4
38% Face-offs 62%
8 Penalty Mins 8
18 Hits 39
38 Fenwick For 49
52 Corsi For 67
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens  (26-12-3) 1 0 0 0 1
 Penguins (25-10-6) 0 1 0 1 2
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL:  Pacioretty (18)
  • PIT:  Malkin (19), Crosby (12)
  • MTL: Price (L) 22-10-2
  • PIT: Fleury (W) 21-7-4
 NHL Three Stars
NHL3stars
  1.  Sidney Crosby  PIT
  2.  Carey Price  MTL
  3.  Marc-Andre Fleury  PIT

 Video Highlights

 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Michel Therrien
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  • “I didn’t like the power play tonight. I thought 5-on-5 we played really well. We played a really tight checking game, and that’s what you want to do against a team like Pittsburgh. They’ve got a lot of threats offensively and I thought we did good, but our power play was not good.”

Max Pacioretty

  • “We had an opportunity there to maybe put them on their heels and we weren’t able to do anything with [the power-play.]”
  • “[Carey Price] bails us out too much, but at the end of the day he definitely deserves that recognition. We’re very happy for him but it’s no surprise to anybody here (that he was selected for the All-Star Game.)”

Carey Price

  • “They stepped it up a notch in the third period. They made it difficult to come up the ice. I thought it was a pretty tight game overall. We played them pretty tough. It just came down to a penalty and a broken stick.”

Brendan Gallagher

  • “Any time you’re on the power play, you’re always going out there with the intention to score a goal. We’re no different regardless of how poor it’s been for us this year. We’re off right now and I think the biggest thing is timing. We weren’t coming up as a unit tonight. It’s something we’ve worked on, but it’s going to take more work. It’s never easy to fix a problem but we’ll go back to the drawing board and come back with a solution.”

Penguins coach Mike Johnston

  • “I thought we got better as the game went along. I didn’t like our first period from the point of view I thought we turned over too many pucks. We gave them too many transition opportunities and you just can’t do that against a team that’s that good in transition, and they’ve got very good skill, very good speed, and I thought (Carey) Price made probably four great saves when we had a chance really to win the game in regulation”
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