Eller plays hero in 4-3 shootout win
Lars Eller could have been the hero in the final minutes of regulation. Or overtime.
Turns out he was saving the dramatics for the shootout.
Eller scored ona beautiful move back to his forehand to beat the Senators 4-3 (2-1 in the shootout round).
Eller needed all his reach to beat Robin Lehner, who was also beaten by Eller's linemate Alex Galchenyuk in the shootout round, with "Chuckie" using a triple head-fake to confuse the Senators' goalie.
He'd come up with a steal and fed to Alex Galchenyuk with about 1:20 remaining in the 3rd---only to hit the post. Eller would again very nearly play overtime hero, only to be frustrated by Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner, who made 42 saves to 29 for Carey Price.
The Habs dominated in the 3rd with a 13-3 shot margin but were 0/3 on the power-play.
PK Subban now has points on 9 straight Habs PP goals and points in 7 of the last 8 games. He downplayed his own performance, as did Coach Therrien: "he's getting better and better."
Whether shooting or dishing off, Subban has 3 goals and 6 assists over the Canadiens' last 9 goals with a man advantage.
But Subban's efforts were wasted in a span of less than 2 minutes, as Ottawa rallied back from a 3-1 deficit with goals at 19:58 of the 2nd and 1:50 of the 3rd.
He blasted a point-shot off Senator Chris Phillips late in the 2nd period (Plekanec was also providing a screen) and earlier Subban's smart decision with the puck fed Max Pacioretty for a goal ultimately credited to rookie Brendan Gallagher before the midway mark in the 2nd period.
Subban had moments before fired a slapshot from the point to test Robin Lehner blocker hand side. Subban and Markov had flipped back and forth on the points during the man advantage.
Pacioretty scored from close in, going 5-hole on Lehner, but it was Gallagher battling in front who was given credit.
Gabriel Dumont outhustled and outworked Kaspars Daugavins deep in the Senators zone to set up Lars Eller for the Canadiens' first goal of the night and Dumont's first NHL point.
The 22-year old forward changed directions repeatedly and came out from behind the net to get a shot on Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner, providing opportunity for Lars Eller to score his 4th goal of the season.
The Canadiens received a rousing welcome back to the Bell Centre for the first time in 10 days; Carey Price back in the crease on home ice for the first time since his 7-6 overtime loss to the Penguins.
Senator Mika Zibanejad scored a powerplay goal from the slot with Colby Armstrong in the penalty box several minutes after the Habs grabbed the lead. Both PK Subban and Josh Gorges had been drawn to a battle for the puck along the right boards, but the Sens worked who free to Zibanejad who fired his 2nd goal in 4 games against the Habs this season stick-side on Price to beat the Canadiens goalie pushing off his post.
Georges St. Pierre dropped the ceremonial faceoff, while Greg Pateryn's parents and Impact Coach Marco Schallibaum were in the crowd.
Pateryn was farmed back to the Hamilton Bulldogs after the game.
Micheal Ryder was benched for the 2nd time in 4 games (despite also being in the midst of a 9-point scoring binge over parts of the last 6 games). His icetime in the 2nd period was reduced to just 1:28 after 5:31 in the 1st.
Ryder was used only on the PP in the 3rd period.
The Canadiens maintained a 17-13 shot advantage after 20 minutes, pushing it to 45-32 after 65.