Led by the so-called “Kid Line” the Canadiens broke out of a four game losing streak with a 4-2 over the New York Islanders Sunday night at the Bell Centre. Each member of the line scored in the game with Brendan Gallagher opening the game’s scoring, Lars Eller breaking a 1-1 tie and Alex Galchenyuk scoring the clinching goal with ten minutes remaining in the game. Both Galchenyuk and Gallagher had three point games. Gallagher with two. The other Canadiens goal was scored by Michael Bournival. Shots on goal were 31-26 in favour of Montreal. The three stars were Galchenyuk, Gallagher and Eller.
Adding It Up –
Never Quits – With it scoreless early in the second period, Alex Galchenyuk threw a pass to the Islander line that appeared to have been broken up at the line. Somehow Gallagher corralled it and found himself alone. His eighth goal of the season.
Breaking Out – Lars Eller hadn’t scored in 12 games. He came out of it on a Canadiens power play goalmouth pass from Galchenyuk giving the Canadiens a 2-1 lead.
The Game Winner – On a power play, Raphael Diaz laid a playable puck in front for Michael Bournival in front to make it 3-1. Bournival said afterwards that he saw the play coming and simply put his stick down and it was right there for him.
“They Compete” – Michel Therrien’s words to describe the Eller Line. No better example than the last goal. On what seemed to be a harmless clear by the Canadiens, Gallagher simply outworked defenseman Andrew MacDonald inside the Islanders blueline, sent a pass acrosse to Eller who then set up Galchenyuk. Eight scoring points for the line and the easiest three star selection of the season.
Special Teams – It was a sawoff for the Canadiens. Two power play goals and two power play goals against. With the power play goals from Eller and Bournival the Canadiens moved from third to second in the rankings behind only the Washington Capitals.
Always Contributing – Even when they’re held off the scoresheet Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta were doing their part. Michel Therrien had them doing the line share of the checking on the Taveres-Okposo-Nelson line. The line scored on a power play, although some would argue the NHL decision that the puck wasn’t kicked in the net.
The Goaltender – For the most part the Canadiens did a good job in front of Carey Price except a stretch right after Gallagher had given them a 1-0 lead. In span of thirty seconds Price had to deal with first rate scoring chances fromn first Matt Martin, then on a deflection from Casey Cizikas and then right off another faceoff Eric Boulton followed by Kyle Okposo. Things then settled down again and Price saw 11 shots through the final 36 minutes of the game.
Also Worth Mentioning – ……The idea of Max Pacioretty on a line with Plekanec and Gionta seems like a good one on paper. Pacioretty had five shots on goal but few of them were memorable. Might be a good idea to give them a little more time to sort things out. …..Pacioretty’s former centre, David Desharnais seems to have gone down Carey Price’s “Hobbit hole”. No shots attempted. The only thing on his statistical line was a “hit” and the won only 38% of his faceoffs. ….Travis Moen came down with a bug of some sort. He left the game in the second period and didn’t return. ….Another point for P.K. Subban That a goal and five assists the last five games. With 17, he remains a point behind Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson in scoring among defensemen.
Moving On – The Canadiens host Tampa Bay on Tuesday and then will play the first of three straight weekends of back to back games when they polay in Columbus Friday night and host the Rangers on Saturday.