Last shot wins
Canadiens' head coach Michel Therrien took somewhat of a philosophical approach when asked to describe what transpired on the ice at the Bell Centre between his team and the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night.
"Crazy game, eh? Exciting for the fans. That's one of the reasons why coaches start to get grey hair. We made comebacks and found a way to get a point."
Therrien said right from the start his team wasn't sharp mentally, losing pucks in places they shouldn't be losing pucks.
"We got a point and I think it's a big point," added Therrien.
The Canadiens had a chance to get two points, the ugly way, in a game that went to overtime, tied at six. That's right. Do not adjust your set: this one was tied at six when Brandon Sutter beat Carey Price with a major-league shot 52 seconds into the exta period to give the Penguins a 7-6 win.
This was a see-saw battle, back and forth. It was tied at one after one. The Penguins put three quick ones past Price in the second period to go ahead 4-2. But Brian Gionta and PK Subban beat Tomas Vokoun to tie it at four heading into the final 20 minutes. The goal by Subban came with .09 seconds left on the clock in the middle period.
David Desharnais gave the Canadiens a 5-4 lead 5:25 into the third. However, Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby scored 30 seconds apart to put the Penguins ahead 6-5 beore Gionta sent the game into overtime with his second of the night, midway through the third.
That set the stage for Sutter's winning goal in overtime: the first and only shot the Penguins would need in O.T. on this porous night.
Brandon Prust and Max Pacioiretty also scored for the Habs.
"It was one of those games that momentum shifted back and forth a couple of times." said Pacioretty. "We've got to be a bit better than that."
"We had a couple of spurts when we showed them what we're made of. But we didn't do it for 60 minutes and it backfired on us."
Pacioretty's goal, his 7th of the season, came on a terrific feed by a hard-charging Brendan Gallagher, who continues to take no prisoners out there. Gallagher aso helped set up Gionta's first of the night.
Defensively (if you can use that word on a night when your team gives up seven goals) PK Subban was a dominant figure on the ice, while Tomas Kaberle picked up two assists and finished at plus 3, the best plus number on the team, in 12:36 of ice time.
The tandem of Markov and Emelin both figured on the scoresheet: Emelin with two assitss and Markov with a single helper, but they struggled mightily in their zone for much of the night.
As the Canadiens look ahead to the Bruins tomorrow night, Therrien wouldn't tip his hand as to who he will start in goal vs. the Bruins.
Carey Price has had better nights. Does the coach give him a chance to redeem himself, or does he go with Peter Budaj's recent steady hand.