The Canadiens blew a 3-0 lead against the Nashville Predators and then got an unassisted overtime goal from David Desharnais to win the game 4-3 Saturday night. The Canadiens scored three goals in a 3:07 first period stretch. The took over the game in the second period, outshooting the Canadiens 20-6 and scoring twice. Shea Weber tied the game on a third period power play, paving the way for the overtime winner by Desharnais. Also scoring for the Canadiens were P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec. The other Nashville goals came from Patrik Hornqvist and Gabriel Bourque. Final shots on goal were 34-23 in favour of Nashville.
Adding It Up –
Their Lucky Stars – In almost every aspect of this game, the Canadiens were lucky. The took advantage of a rookie goaltender to score three goals on five shots in the first period while, at the same time Viktor Stalberg was hitting an post and then a crossbar behind Carey Price.
Early Holiday – The Canadiens started their Christmas break at approximately 8:15pm Saturday night, apparently very satisfied with themselves and their 3-0 lead. They quite literally handed the game back to the Predators who piled up 20 shots on Carey Price and scored twice.
Not “The Right Way” – Michel Therrien constantly harps on what it takes to play the game ‘the right way’ in his view. He will be showing nothing from that game in his next demonstration video. The Canadiens were constantly second on the puck and soft when they got there and simply outhustled through the final 45 minutes of the game.
The Difference-Maker – Carey Price had never beaten the Predators and his team seemed bent on making sure his record against them was perfect. The second period was like a Nashville shooting drill. At one point the shots were 15-2 and wound up 20-6. Both Gabriel Bourque and Nick Spaling were left completely alone for their goals. Without Price this game could have a lot uglier than it was.
Bad Timing – With his team struggling to get a little third period offensive traction Andrei Markov drew a ten minute misconduct penalty on the play that created the tieing goal. Markov upset at the way he was leveled behind the net by Patric Hornqvist. Markov had no part in the final 6:40 of regulation time and all of the overtime.
The Game Winner – Nashville coach Barry Trotz was seen yelling at the game officials after David Desharnais scored the winner. He had reason. Desharnais clearly tripped Mattias Ekholm along the boards creating a semi-breakaway. His shot to win the game however, was a work of art.
Also Worth Mentioning – …..There were some good things. P.K Subban had a very good night. He scored the first goal and led the Canadiens with six shots; had 3 blocked shots and four hits. ….Six Canadiens forwards failed to register a shot on goal in the game including Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Briere and Gionta. Three others, Eller, Bournival and Bourque had only one. …..Was Michael Bournival really that bad, all things considered. Bournival was given only eight shifts and 6:34 ice time, the only member of the team under ten minutes. ……The Canadiens went into the game having allowed only 3 power play goals on the road all season. They gave up two in this game dropping them behind St. Louis. ………A long night in the faceoff circle for Tomas Plekanec. Predators centre Mike Fisher beat him 9 of the 11 times they faced each other. ………Josh Gorges didn’t play in the game after suffering a foot or ankle injury blocking a shot in St. Louis Thursday. It ended a 167 iron man streak and left Andrei Markov, who also underwent major knee surgery, as the team’s iron man at 98 consecutive games. ……The win leaves the Canadiens three points behind Boston and tied with Tampa Bay for second in the Atlantic Division. Tampa and Boston have two games in hand.
Moving On – The Canadiens chartered home after the game and have six days off before they resume their schedule in TampaBay next Saturday. They’ll play the Panthers at Florida Sunday and then meet Carolina at Raleigh on New Year’s eve.