Pierre Obendrauf/Montreal Gazette
Third Win In A Row Proves Costly
Carey Price opened the door Friday night, in flew Enza, and out came Peter Budaj Saturday night for his third start of the year.
Coach Michel Therrien, in an effort to light a fire under Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole, switched-up his line combinations. Therrien had Cole playing on a line with Alex Galchenyuk and Brandon Prust, while Brendan Gallagher took Cole’s spot on the David Desharnais-Max Pacioretty line. The moves paid off as the Habs came out of the gate flying and eight minutes in, Brendan Gallagher potted his fifth goal of the season. It started with a nice feed from Pacioretty to Gallagher at the top of the face-off circle. Gallagher, using Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen as a screen, then fired a wicked wrist shot to beat Flyers goaltender Brian Boucher low to the stick side for a 1 – 0 lead for the Canadiens. That line clicked again at the start of the second period as Gallagher, returned the favour to Pacioretty as he sent Max flying down the wing with a nice pass. Pacioretty moved in for the shot but lost the puck. Tracking the puck, he picked it up behind the net, sent it out to Gallagher in front, over to Desharnais and it was 2 – 0 Canadiens. Danny Briere pulled the Flyers to within one to finish off the second period. The third period saw the Habs regain their two goal lead as Tomas Plekanec scored his team leading seventh goal. After a spinaround move didn’t work, Plekanec got the puck back and fired it over Boucher who was still sitting down after the failed spin move. Peter Budaj then had to come up with an enormous couple of saves to preserve the Habs 3 – 1 lead. Flyers Erik Gustafsson let a whistler go from the point which Budaj got a piece of. It then trickled through his pads and was heading over the goal line but he managed to get his paddle down just in time to stop it. With the puck lying open in the crease, both Sean Couturier and Tyler McGinn had cracks at but couldn’t put it past the stick of Budaj, who was lying back, outstretched on the ice. Rene Bourque finished the Flyers off with an empty net goal, even though his shot missed the net. Bourque, who has trouble hitting the net at the best of times, got hauled down by Jakob Voracek on a semi-breakaway and his shot trickled wide of the net. He was awarded the goal anyway.
Brendan Gallagher Suffers A Concussion
Gallagher had been battling along the boards with Briere for the puck when the Flyers Luke Schenn nailed Gallagher from behind, driving his head into the boards. Gallagher went down immediately holding his head. With the referee standing right there, there was no call on the play. It was confirmed on Sunday that Brendan Gallagher has sustained a concussion and is being evaluated. “Obviously he won’t play tomorrow and we’ll go from there,” said Michel Therrien after the Habs Sunday practice. “When he’s going to be back in the lineup I expect him to play the same way he was playing before. He’s a kid that works so hard. He’s an inspiration to the rest of the team as well.” This was a dirty hit and the NHL’s Director of Player Discipline, Brendan Shanahan, should be reviewing it and assess Schenn a suspension. But don’t hold your breath. There was no suspension on the Leafs Mikhail Grabovski for biting, and there was no suspension on the Penguins Matt Cooke for a deliberate intent to injure Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, slicing Karlsson’s Achilles tendon, so I guess there’s no suspension for blindsiding a player into the boards from behind and driving his head into the glass. Seems to be Shanahan’s version of a hockey play these days.
The Canadiens host the Carolina Hurricanes Monday night at the Bell Centre.