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GAME #50 – OUT OF STEAM – Philadelphia-5 Canadiens-2 (Jan. 19, 2019)

Was it the two games in twenty-four hours? Or the four games in six nights. Maybe it was the eight games in 13 days including three sets of back-to-back with travel between? Or perhaps a combination of all of those things that cau

sed the Canadiens to run out of gas after a dominant first period against Philadelphia Saturday night. Problem was the Canadiens didn’t score on any of their multiple first period chances and they became sitting ducks for the Flyers late in the second period. End of the four game winning streak, but one of those games in a long schedule that a team can rationalize and quickly forget.

Canadiens

GAME #49 – MOVING ON UP – Canadiens-4 Columbus-1 (Jan. 18, 2019

Face it, goaltending has been the key to three of the last four Canadiens wins. Claude Julien pointed that out after the Columbus gamenand it’s not disputable. The save totals in the last three have been 41, 52 and, in this game, 34. Carey Price has been in for three of the four wins in the current strak during which he has given up three goals. Price didn’t have to deal with the work load of the Boston overtime-win but in the third period he had to protect the Canadiens’ 2-1 lead and made very strong saves on the breakaways by Ryan Murray and Josh Anderson.

GAME #48 – NIEMI MAKES 52 SAVES – Canadiens-5 Florida-1 (Jan. 15, 2019)

Antti Niemi was extraordinary through the first two periods of Tuesday night’s Florida game but his third period created the biggest impression.

The Panthers came into the game a desperate hockey team after losing their last six games. They were playing a Canadiens team that had won an emotional game in Boston the night before and understandably had trouble finding their legs in the first period. They righted things somewhat in the second period to get a 3-1 lead.. He had already made 31 saves, a full goaltending night in most games, but in the third period fatigue started to set in and Niemi really had to go to work.

GAME #47 – PRICE STOPS 41 – Canadiens-3 Boston-2 (Overtime) Jan. 14, 2019

The Boston Bruins were a better hockey team than the Canadiens Monday night except in one very important area. The Canadiens had the goaltender.

The Bruins controlled 58.33% of the play. Shots on goal favoured the Bruins 43-22. The Bruins led in scoring chances 31-26 and 11-8 in dangerous chances.

But Carey Price stopped 41 of 43 shots. And the Canadiens won the game 3-2 in overtime.

GAME #46 – SHUTDOWN HOCKEY – Canadiens-3 Colorado-0 (Jan. 12, 2019)

The Canadiens are back in a playoff position thanks to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche combined with Saturday night losses by Buffalo and the New York Islanders.

This game wasn’t easy. For two periods the Avalanche played a nearly perfect road game, holding the Canadiens in check and off the score sheet while taking the crowd out of the picture. If anything, were it not for some more impressive work from Carey Price, the Canadiens could easily have been down a goal or two going to the third period.

GAME #45 – ONE TO FORGET – St. Louis-4 Canadiens-1 (Jan. 10, 2019)

The hockey analytics crowd kept telling us that the early Canadiens goalscoring success was not going to be sustainable through the entire season.

The stats-guys are being proven right. Almost every one of the forwards that carried the Canadiens to their early season success have gone in the tank.

Max Domi has gone a calendar month and fifteen games without a goal; Brendan Gallagher’s goal against the Blues was his first in ten games. Paul Byron is at eight games. Tomas Tatar’s only two goals over the last fifteen came in the same Florida game and the frustrating Jonathan Drouin has two goals over his last twelve games but one of those was scored into an empty net. We had a brief scoring surge from Phillip Danault but nobody was hopeful that was going to last.

Hockey-General News

PREVIEW GAME #82 Canadiens @ Toronto (April 7/2018

Fourth of four meetings (Canadiens 0-2-1). @Bell Centre – Oct. 14th Toronto-4 Canadiens-3 (OT). Ended fourteen game Canadiens winning streak over Toronto. Auston Matthews second goal won the game in overtime. Drouin 1 g, 1a. Price allows 4 goals on 22 shots. @Bell Centre Nov. 18th – Toronto-6 Canadiens-0. Matthews with two goals. Niemi replaced Lindgren in third period. Frederik Andersen 33 saves for shutout. @Toronto March 17 Toronto-4 Canadiens-0. Curtis McElhinney 33 saves for shutout. Lindgren faces 49 shots. Nylander, Kapanen, Kadri &Johnsson scored.

….Toronto has outscored the Canadiens 14-3 in the three meetings. Toronto has scored the last 12 goals including 10-0 in the last two games/

….The Canadiens have not scored a goal on Toronto goaltending in 149:15. Back-to-back shutouts by Frederik Andersen and Curtis McElhinney.

….After sweeping the four game series last year the Canadiens are in danger of being swept by Toronto this season. It’s been 25 years since Toronto last swept a season series vs. Montreal -1992-93 which iwathe Canadiens last Stanley Cup season).

PREVIEW GAME #81 – Canadiens @ Detroit (April 5/2018)

Detroit joined the NHL in 1926. This is the first time in the 92 years the Detroit and Montreal have been in league together that both franchises have missed the playoffs in the same season.

….Going into the game the Canadiens have the third worst record in the league and Detroit is sixth-worst.

….The Canadiens are 3-0-0 vs. Detroit this season. In the three games they have outscored the Wings 20-6.

….Fourth of four meetings. @Detroit Nov. 30th Canadiens-6 Detroit-3. Jimmy Howard allows 6 goals on 25 shots. Gallagher 2g, 1a; Pacioretty 1g, 1a; Petry & Danault 2a each. @Bell Centre Dec. 2nd Canadiens-10 Detroit-1. PaulByron 3 goals, Alex Galchenyuk 4 assists. Deslauriers, Carr and de la Rose 1g 2a each. Mrazek 5 goals on 25 shots, Howard 5 goals on 9 shots. @Bell Centre Mar. 26th Canadiens-4 Detroit-2. Gallagher – 29th and 30th goals; Galchenyuk & Byron. Coreau vs. Price.

PREVIEW GAME #80 – Winnipeg @ Canadiens (April 3/2018)

Second of two meetings. @Winnipeg Nov. 4 Canadiens-5 Winnipeg-4 (overtime). Pacioretty with GWG PPG at 3:07 OT. Pacioretty 1g, 2a. Andrew Shaw – 2 goals; The game featured 6 PPG’s – three by each team. Canadiens outshoot Winnipeg 50-23. Montoya vs. Hellebuyck.

….In their last visit to the Bell Centre Feb. 18, 2017 Winnipeg was a 3-1 winner over the Canadiens

….Since the 2012 lockout the Canadiens are 8-4-0 vs. Winnipeg; at the Bell Centre 4-2-0.

….Since 2012 Alex Galchenyuk leads the Canadiens against the Jets with 4g, 5a in ten games. Max Pacioretty has 2g, 6a in 11 games.

…..Vs. the Canadiens Blake Wheeler has 4g, 2a in 12 games since the lockout.

PREVIEW GAME #79 – New Jersey @ Canadiens (April 1/2018)

.Third of three meetings – Dec. 14th @ BellCentre – Canadiens-2 New Jersey -1 (overtime). Plekanec scored at 1:52 of OT. Also Andrew Shaw. Noesen for NJD. Price vs. Schneider. March 6th @ New Jersey Devils-6 Canadiens-4. Travis Zajac – 2 goals; Will Butcher, Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri, Sami Vatanen 2 assists each. Jacob de la Rose – two goals; Mike Reilly two assists. Lindgren vs. Kincaid.

….Both teams are playing their second game in 24 hours. The Devils beat the Islanders at home Saturday and the Canadiens lost in Pittsburgh.

….Since the lockout the Canadiens have a home record of 6-1-1 vs. New Jersey. Three of the games were decided in overtime – two won by the Canadiens. Including those in overtime, five of the eight games were decided by one goal.

….Home and away since the lockout the canadiens are 11-4-2 vs. New Jersey. Seven of the 17 were decided in OT/Shootout.

PREVIEW GAME #78 Canadiens @ Pittsburgh (March 31/2018)

This is the third and final meeting, all in a span of sixteen days. @Bell Centre March 15th Pittsburgh-5 Canadiens-3. Hornqvist 2 goals, 1 assist. Lehkonen, Byron, Deslauriers for the Canadiens. Niemi allows 4 goals on 38 shots. @Pittsburgh March 21st Pittsburgh-5 Canadiens-3. Jake Guentzel 1g, 2a; Crosby & Evgeni Malkin 1g, 1a each; for Canadiens de la Rose,Scherbak & Drouin. Price s. DeSmith.

….This is the third straight time the Canadiens are catching the Penguins in a back-to-back games situation. On March 15th and 21st it was the second half of the doubleheader. This game will be the first of two in 24 hours. The Penguins are 8-7-2 in the first half this season.

….The Penguins are in position to sweep the season series against the Canadiens for only the second time in their history. They were 3-0 vs. Montreal in 2012-13.

PREVIEW GAME #77 – Detroit @ Canadiens (March 26/2018)

Third of four meetings – @Detroit Nov. 30th Canadiens-6 Detroit-3. Jimmy Howard allows 6 goals on 25 shots. Gallagher 2g, 1a; Pacioretty 1g, 1a; Petry & Danault 0g, 2a, @Bell Centre Dec. 3rd – Canadiens-10 Detroit-1. Paul Byron 3 goals, Alex Galchenyuk 4 assists; Deslauriers, Carr and de la Rose 1g, 2a each. Mrazek 5 goals against on 25 shots; Jimmy Howard 5 on 9 shots.

….In the month of March the Wings are 1-9-2 while the Canadiens are 3-8-2.

….Since the 2012 lockout the Canadiens are 7-0-2 vs. Detroit at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens were 2-2 in the four overtime games.

PREVIEW GAME #76 Washington @ Canadiens (March 24/2018)

.Third of three meetings this season. @ Washington Oct. 7th – Capitals-6 Canadiens-1. Ovechkin with 4 goals including three in first period. Price allows 4 on 14 shots. Montoya finished the game. @Washington Jan. 19th – Canadiens-3 Washington-2. Antti Niemi’s first win for Canadiens. Pacioretty two goals plus Byron.

….The last time the teams met at the Bell Centre was Super Bowl weekend Feb. 4th 2017, a 3-2 Canadiens loss. Price gave up 3 on 30 shots .

….Washington has earned at least a point in 14 consecutive games at the Bell Centre (12-0-2). They last loss in regulation time the Bell Centre was Jan. 10th 2009. Overall they have registered a point in 24 of their last 28 games (19-5-4).

PREVIEW GAME #75 Canadiens @ Buffalo (March 23/2018)

Final of four meetings – Canadiens 3-0-0. @Buffalo Oct.5th (season opener) Canadiens-3 Buffalo-2 (shootout) Pacioretty, Danault & Drouin (shootout winner). Pominville 2 goals. @Bell Centre Nov. 11th Canadiens-2 Buffalo-1 (overtime). Shaw & Pacioretty (overtime winner). O’Reilly for Buffalo. @Bell Centre Nov. 25th Canadiens-3 Buffalo-0. Carey Price’s only shutout win of season 36 saves. Petry, Galchenyuk and Byron (SHG).

….This is the first of back-to-back games for both teams. The Canadiens face Washington at the Bell Centre Saturday night; Buffalo will play at the Rangers Saturday.

….Since Dec. 232nd the Sabres have had a better record than the Canadiens – Buffalo winning 14 of 37 games for 33 points; the Canadiens 10 of 39 for 28 points.

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