Habs Take Two in the Sunshine State
After losing three games in a row last week, things were looking bleak for the Habs, they had reverted back to back to last year’s trick of blowing leads in the third period. A one goal lead against Boston, a two goal lead against Buffalo, and then came the debacle against the Leafs. So the Canadiens headed south for some much needed sunshine and came away with two wins, just what the doctor ordered. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty, but four points is four points.
Win Number One
For fifty-four minutes on Tuesday night in Tampa Bay, the Habs looked like they had turned things around. The Habs had started out strong with goals by Brian Gionta, P.K. Subban and Travis Moen and went into the third period with the always suspect 3 – 0 lead. With six minutes left it looked like Carey Price was going to get his first shutout of the year, and then the wheels fell off. A bad goal, a lucky goal and a bad penalty call in six minutes and the Lightning had tied things up. Uh-oh, here we go again. Overtime decided nothing so it went to a shootout. Carey Price was perfect, stopping Victor Hedman, Marty St-Louis and Steven Stamkos, the Habs David Desharnais managed to get one by Lightning goalie Anders Lindback to salvage a win for the Habs, 4 – 3.
Win Number Two
Two nights later the Canadiens were in Sunrise, Florida to face the Panthers and former Habs goaltender José Theodore. Carey Price won the duel, and recorded his first shutout of the season as the Habs managed to squeak out a 1 – 0 overtime victory in probably the most boring game of the year. Two minutes into overtime, Rene Bourque knocked in an Alex Galchenyuk rebound out of the air past Theodore for the win. Theodore and Price had traded saves throughout the game and both had to come up big to take shutouts into the overtime. Price earned his keep in the third period, especially with eight minutes to go when both Jonathan Huberdeau and Drew Shore had excellent scoring opportunities from point blank range but Price stoned them both. Said Price after the game, “The guys played very well in front of me, we limited their scoring chances all game. They only got a couple of quality chances all game and that speaks of our organized work ethic in front of me. They came out hard in the beginning of the third period but we just weathered the storm. It was a pretty quiet game, pretty defensive and we were lucky to get that one at the end.”
The Habs improve their record to 8-4-1. Good for 17 points and fifth place in the conference, one point ahead of the Leafs, with a game in hand.
The Canadiens next game is Saturday night at the Bell Centre against the Philadelphia Flyers.