Markov scores in OT, 4-3 win over Devils
Andrei Markov maintained his goal/game pace scoring in his 3rd straight game and the Canadiens won for the 3rd game in a row, 4-3 in overtime against the Devils.
Rene Bourque fired wide from the high slot but Andrei Markov had crashed the goal and easily lifted the puck over Martin Brodeur for the win. It's high 4th goal in 4 games, his most torrid pace to start an NHL season.
Alex Galchenyuk set up his fellow rookie linemate for his first NHL goal in the 1st period and proved he wasn't playing favorites by setting up veteran Brandon Prust for a goal in the 3rd period.
Problem is Galchenyuk and Prust then went off to the penalty box together giving the Devils a 5-on-3 powerplay and a chance to close the gap.
Montreal gave up a power-play goal to bring New Jersey back to within a goal and the Devils tied the game with about 7 minutes left 3-3.
Galchenyuk came speeding out of the box and turned a one-on-one rush down the right side into a dangerous drive through the slot to the left-wing side, only to beat Brodeur with a shot but whistle it high and wide.
Maybe Martin Brodeur didn't recognize the Montreal Canadiens. His usual mastery over the Habs was nowhere in evidence during the opening minutes of the 1st period at the Bell Centre.
He hadn't even been introduced to The 2 Gallys yet.
Ryan White banged in the rebound of an Alexei Emelin point shot for the Canadiens to grab an early 1-0 lead. Montreal swarmed the Jersey zone with a 7-2 shot advantage in the opening 4 minutes.
Later in the period, Alex Galchenyuk made a perfect pass through the slot from right to left wing with rookie Brendan Gallagher one-timing the shot for his first NHL goal.
Gallagher's reaction was priceless---he turned to look right at his training camp rommate who lifted him up and hoisted him into the glass.
In the previous Habs' home game Gallagher had earned an assist on Galchenyuk's NHL first goal.
Coach Michel Therrien restored Lars Eller to the starting lineup in place of Max Pacioretty, recovering from emergency appendectomy.
Even without Pacioretty's 3-4 week absence, Galchenyuk appeared to provide ample evidence he deserves to stay at the NHL level.
The Canadiens have a 5-game window to decide on returning the skilled forward to junior hockey. Expect Galchenyuk to be riding a bus to Ottawa after Tuesday night's game with his NHL teammates, not riding a bus to Sarnia for a demotion.
Eller took many of the faceoffs for David Desharnais on the line with Erik Cole, though losing a post-faceoff scrum in the offensive zone early almost cost Eller and the Habs. Travis Zajac rang the puck off the post on a resulting 2-on-1 break.
Eller was then used only as a decoy by Erik Cole on a Canadiens' 2-on-1 opportunity; Cole fired into a Jersey defenseman.
Yannick Weber made his season debut replacing Tomas Kaberle, who was given the night off despite being recovered from a facial injury. The Swiss defenseman was not shy about pinching deep into the Devils' zone on his first few shifts.
Former Habs GM Pierre Gauthier was at the rare Sunday evening game, one of only 5 rival team personnel registered along "scouts row".
The Canadiens dominated play with a 16-7 shot advantage in the 1st period.
In the 2nd, Devils veteran sniper Patrick Elias deflected a point-shot past Carey Price to close New Jersey to within one goal. The NHL war-room reviewed the play but the stick blade was not too high.
Jersey went into familiar clampdown mode and held the Habs without a single for more than 11 minutes to open the 2nd.