Two streaks came to an end for the Canadiens Tuesday night at Long Island. The New York Islanders handed the Canadiens a rather sound 6-3 beating ending the stretch of eleven games without a regulation loss. It was also the first game in 13 games that the Canadiens had been beaten by a team outside their own division in regulation time. Matt Moulson, Michael Grabner. Radek Martinek, Matt Martin. Colin MacDonald and John Tavares shared the goalscorer for the Islanders. Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta and P.K. Subban for the Canadiens who outshot the Islanders 32-24. The Canadiens play the third game of their five game road trip at Carolina on Thursday.
The Canadiens continue to lead the Eastern Conference. The also lead Boston by a point in the Northeast division by a single point. The Bruins blew a 3-0 lead in a 4-3 overtime loss to Washington on Tuesday.
Some Random Thinking –
Is It Carey? Blaming goaltenders for losses is a mug’s game. But Carey Price has given up twelve goals in his last two games which is not a stat to Price has now given up twelve goals in his last two starts and that is not good no matter who’s fault it is. For the first 19 games of the season, Canadiens defensive discipline was winning games. In the last week, too many members of the opposition are getting good clean looks at the Canadiens net. Price would tell you he might like two or three back, but what about the other nine?
Doing the Shuffle – Mostly to get Alex Galchenyuk back in the groove, Michel Therrien switched around his second and third lines. Galchenyuk moved up to play with Plekanec and Ryder while Brian Gionta joined Eller and Prust.
Early Dividend – Galchenyuk paid it back by setting up Plekanec in front for the first goal of the game in the 6th minute. He also was given a wild ride into the Islander bench by Islander centre Casey Cizikas midway through the period. All told, his best game in two weeks.
Penalties – The Canadiens penalty kill is a shadow of the one that was Kirk Muller ran when he was responsible. The Canadiens received their first two penalties in the second period and were gave up goals on both of them. And before they could get their act back together after Matt Martin made it 2-1, forty-eight seconds later Michael Grabner made it 3-1. In two games against the Canadiens, both of them wins, the Islanders have scored four power play goals.
Returning the Favour – The Canadiens did come back with a couple of power plays of their own to tie the game. First P.K. Subban with a hard slapper into the top corner and then Brian Gionta, who did a pretty good job of hiding behind the net until Subban let another shot go. He stepped in front in time be alone for the rebound. 3-3 tie.
Barely Worth Mentioning – Gionta’s goal was the 20,000th in the history of the Canadiens.
Buried – It took just 1:49 for the Islanders to break the tie/ Radek Martinek on an unblocked screen shot with Nielsen parked in front of Price. It was the game winner.
Mad Scramble – The Canadiens chose to pull off their worst line change of the season with 4:22 left and the Canadiens trailing by the Martinek goal. It was hard for the officials to miss, there were eight players on the ice. A minute after they killed the penalty John Tavares scored and then Colin McDonald into the empty net. 6-3 final.
Adding it Up – The Canadiens laid an egg in this one. Despite the Boston win, which may have been adrenaline-induced, there seems to be a bit of pattern here. We saw it back when they lost three in a row and had everyone in Montreal in panic mode. They worked their way of that one. The operative word is “worked”. That area of their game was missing on Long Island.