The Montreal Canadiens, led by Jaroslav Halak’s goaltending, came from behind to beat the Penguins 3-1 in Pittsburgh this afternoon. Michael Cammalleri scored two goals for the Canadiens. Halak stopped 38 of 39 Pittsburgh shots. The other Canadiens goal was scored by Brian Gionta. Matt Cooke scored for the Penguins.
Stanley Cup Playoffs
Habs penalty killer Tom Pyatt, who has hardly played like the rookie he is in this year’s playoffs, was on the ice for two of those four Washington power play goals. You’ll never get anything in-depth from the close-mouthed Martin, but Pyatt had some things to say about what the Canadiens are facing in this round.
With Andrei Markov probably gone for the rest of the playoff season, Jacques Martin and the coach of his defence Perry Pearn have some work ahead, finding a way to recover from losing one of the league’s best defencemen.
First consideration will be Jaroslav Spacek who missed the last four games because of a congestive virus that affected his breathing and sapped his stamina. He skated with the team’s reserves this morning and is trying to regain conditioning. He definitely will not be available for tomorrow afternoon’s game.
Andrei Markov was flown home via charter late last night after injuring his right knee in the first period of the opening game of the series. Penguins centre Jordan Staal suffered a cut tendon in the second period during a collision with the Habs P.K. Subban.
All of the things that the Canadiens did well against the Washington Capitals, fell apart in a 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening game of the Eastern Conference semi-final Friday night. After limiting Washington to just 1 goal in 33 opportunities in the first series, Pittsburgh scored four on the Habs penalty killing unit.
Jacques Martin came to the Canadiens with a reputation for being blindly committed tohaving his team play a plodding, dull defense-oriented trapping game. There was no discussion about what kind of in-game tactician he was. As we learned in the final three games against Washington, Martin knows how to run a bench especially on the road when his opposing coach had the last change.
Jaroslav Spacek has not been able to work out for more than a week because of a congestive virus. It caused him to miss the final four games of the series against the Washington Capitals. He skated with his teammates this morning but has been ruled out for game one of the Eastern Conference semi-final in Pittsburgh tonight.
That means the Canadiens lineup will be basically unchanged from Wednesday night in Washington. P.K. Subban, will once again be paired with Spacek’s regular partner Roman Hamrlik.
Two quotes that will haunt the Washington Capitals through the Summer.
Alexander Ovechkin the day after the the Canadiens blew a 4-1 lead and lost 6-5 in overtime in game two of the Eastern Conference quarter final.
“I watched the replay when [Eric Fehr] scored the goal and [Halak’s] arm was shaking when he drink water. So he’s nervous. He knows the pressure on him, and it’s a good sign for us.”
You can judge for yourself on whether Halak was “shaking” or not in video below.
There are many things that will be written and said about the Canadiens shocking upset win over the Washington Capitals in the seventh game of the Eastern Conference quarter final series but the one that stands out to me is the fact that in four home games, the Capitals had a lead a total of 6-minutes and 47-seconds.
Dominic Moore’s second career playoff goal with 3:36 remaining proved to be the difference maker. It gave the Canadiens a 2-0 lead. From there the Canadiens had to survive a goal by Brooks Laich 1:20 later and a Capitals power play when Ryan O’Byrne was caught for highsticking Mike Knuble with 1:44 remaining.
Canadiens history is dotted with seventh game playoff successes. The most recent is the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal in 2004, the so-called “Kyle McLaren/Richard Zednik series”. McLaren was suspended for breaking up Zednik’s face with an elbow and the Canadiens came back from being down 3-1 in the series. The Canadiens with Jose Theodore in goal shutout Boston 2-0 in game seven.
Before becoming over-confident simply on history, there have been failures as well. Twice the Bruins beat the Canadiens in a seventh game (’94; ’08),, also Quebec (’85) and Hartford (’86).