The Calgary Flames ran up a 3-0 lead and then grimly hung on through the final ten minutes to get a 3-2 victory over the Canadiens Wednesday night at the Saddledome in Calgary. Rookie Sean Monahan, Sven Baertschi and Curtis Glencross scored for the Flames. P.K. Subban and Lars Eller for the Canadiens who outshot the Flames 35-25. The three stars in Calgary were goaltender Joey MacDonald, Monahan and Subban who also had an assist.
Adding It Up -
Star Crossed – The Canadiens will have to wait until next year to break what will be a twelve year, eight game winless streak in Calgary dating back to January 5th 2002 when, with Michel Therrien in his first coaching stint with the club, the Canadiens won 4-2. The streak includes seven losses in a row and a tie.
Sloppy –The Flames took a 2-0 lead on glaring errors by first P.K. Subban and then Josh Gorges, On the first goal, Subban pinched in the offensive zone allowing leaving only Gorges back to deal with Lee Stempniak and 18 year old Sean Monahan who scored on the rebound. Gorges’s soft pass behind the net to Tinordi allowed Monahan to move in a check the puck away and set up Sven Baetsche. Two goals on the Flames first four shots on goal.
Bring the Smelling Salts – Despite outshooting the Flames 12-5, the Canadiens sleep-walked their way through the first period. With the exception of a couple of shifts from the Eller line was showing little offensive push and absolutely no cohesion. And their play in their own zone was without characteristic discipline. It was a malady that would plague the Canadiens through the first 50 minutes of the game.
The Bad, Good and Ugly – P.K. Subban’s offensive zone mistake led to the opening goal of the game. Then he put the Canadiens on the board at 3-1 with a power play goal late in the second period and lit a fire under the team with ten minutes left when his shot came off the back boards for Eller to make it 3-2. From that point on he played like a Norris Trophy winner until, with less than two minutes left and the Canadiens on all-out offense looking for the tieing goal, Subban completely took the discretion away from the referees by crosschecking Lance Bouman, not once but four times. The game ended with Subban in the penalty box – hero turned to goat.
Mixed Review – Offensively the Kid Line was the Canadiens best again. Eller scored and Galchenyuk assisted giving them each five points in three games. Gallagher had three great scoring chances in the first period. That was the good side of their game. Inside their own end the line was a mess although they weren’t on ice for any of the Calgary goals.
Only Part of the Problem – The Desharnais line took nine shots on goal. Only two could be considered strong scoring chances, both of them by Briere in that Canadiens late third period push to tie the game. Pacioretty assisted on Subban’s power play goal but he was playing with Eller at the time.
Man At Work – Andrei Markov was one of the few consistencies. Markov, who will be 35 in December, played nearly half the game (27:23) and five minutes more than Subban. He drew an assist on the Subban goal, took two shots on goal and blocked four.
Among the Missing – The usually reliable and involved Josh Gorges had a terrible night. He was on the ice for the first two Calgary goals and seemed to be having trouble finding his way on the ice. Gorges played only 20 seconds in the third period which may indicate something is physically wrong.
In Goal – Give Carey Price a C+ for his game. He had no chance on the first two goals. On the tip-in third goal he might have positioned himself better. Along the way he was outstanding on Glencross early in the second period and again on Glencross in the third.
Write It Off – During a TSN second intermission interview, Subban mentioned that he and his teammates practiced terribly Tuesday despite arriving in Calgary a day early. Teams tend to play the way they practice. Subban and his mates lived up to the adage.
Moving On – The Canadiens left by charter for Edmonton right after the game. They’ll play the Oilers Thursday night; their second game in 24 hours.