Both coaches described the game as sloppy.  Watching it in the seats for at home, it was very entertaining, probably because of the mistakes which allowed an somewhat uncontrolled ebb and flow to the game that produced almost a combined fifty scoring chances.

Adding It Up –

Rocky Road – Two of the first three Carolina shots got past Carey Price.  Thirty-four seconds into the game Jiri Tlusty’s shot appeared to change directions off Alexei Emelin and hit the post.  A flopping Price then shoved it into the net.  Five and a half minutes later, the Canadiens defence was simply outworked deep.  Brett Sutter fished the puck off the top of the net and Anthony Stewart made it 2-0.  The Canadiens were held in check for all but the final minute of the period when Gomez/Gionta and Moen put in a dominant shift that led to a four minute high sticking penalty on Tuomo Ruutu.

The Coach Takes Over – When it became 2-0 Jacques Martin had seen enough.  Seven minute into the game, with the Hurricanes getting the last change and not liking the matchups, Martin started breaking things up.  Erik Cole was moved from the Desharnais line to Plekanec.  Gionta went from Plekanec to work with Gomez and Cammalleri.  Palushaj was moved up from the fourth line to play with Desharnais. Eller wound up on the fourth line, where he couldn’t have been better.   It took a while, but the moves paid off.

Game Changer – On Monday night on this site, we were wondering when Lars Eller’s hard work was going to start paying off.  His shorthand goal turned a flat Canadiens effort on it’s heels.   Trailing 2-0  at 9:05 of the second period Eller checked the puck away in the Carolina zone got the puck back to Diaz at the line and when Diaz shot went off Cam Ward’s face mask, Eller was at the goalmouth for the rebound.   In the third period, in another hardworking shift Eller saved the puck at the line for Yannick Weber.  His shot was deflected by Moen.  One goal, one assist – First Star material.

Another One For the Clinic?  Scott Gomez was last seen on the ice at 14:29 of the second period.  Gomez was in just his third game since coming back from a high rib injury.  This time we’re told, it’s something “lower body”.

Heavy Load –  Despite a minus-3 night, the Canadiens second-best forward was Brian Gionta who led all teammates with 32 shifts.  He seemed to be around the puck in every one of them, registering 5 shots on goal and 5 scoring chances.  He started the game with Plekanec and Cammalleri, which lasted four shifts in the first period.  With the Canadiens down 2-0 he was moved to a line with Gomez and Moen.  Then with Gomez out of action for the final 25 minutes of the game he took seven third period shifts with Pacioretty and Desharnais where he took four of his five shots.

The Bell Was Ringing – The Canadiens hit the post four times in the game; Moen, Gionta, Pacioretty and Gorges.   Carolina’s first goal came off a shot that hit the post behind Price.  Eric Staal hit the post in overtime and in the shootout, Jeff Skinner hit the post and Jussi Jokinen put his shot off the crossbar.

Very Special Team – The Canadiens killed all four penalties and scored a shorthanded.  It brings their recent streak t0 37 straight successes going back to a 5-on-3 goal scored on them at Madison Square Garden Nov.6.  that has been the only power play goal in 49 times-short going back 13 games.   The Canadiens have a league leading 95.8 success rate on the road.

The Not-So-Special Team – Just when we thought we were seeing improvement, the Canadiens came up another dreadful night on their power play.  They were 0-for-3 over 5:20 during which the Canadiens were outshot 4-3 and gave away the puck twice.  In ten games on the road the Canadiens have scored three power play goals.

Down to Business –  Carey Price could have been better on those early Carolina goals.  And looked off his feed through most of the first period.  That may have been influenced by the fact that with the score 2-0, he faced only two shots the final 14 minutes of the period.   In the second period he was the other Carey, the one who wins games by himself.  He stopped 27 of 28 shots through the final two periods and the overtime, giving the Canadiens the chance to come back.

The Homecoming – Erik Cole had a quiet night against his former teammates.  One shot on goal out four shot attempts.   He wound up being pulled from the Desharnais line early and spent most of the rest of the night with Plekanec and Cammalleri.  He had a great scoring chance late in the game, but it was waved off when he crashed into the Carolina goal.

On Defense – Hal Gill returned and put in his usual steady 21:57, most of it with Yannick Weber.   Weber, although plus-1 seemed to be struggling at times under the Carolina forechecking.  The go-to pair continues to be Gorges/Subban. Each logged over 24 minutes.  Emelin and Diaz were on the ice for the first goal, but did a good job.  Emelin registered six more hits.  That’s eleven delivered the last two games.  Only Eric Cole has more hits on the Canadiens and he’s played eight more games.

Moving On – The Canadiens left for Philadelphia right after the game.  They play the Flyers Friday afternoon at 3.00 and then it’s home to Pittsburgh Saturday night.  After that, it’s the West Coast for Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles.

The Canadiens Corsi/Fenwick Numbers

Game Number Team Player Goals Saved shots Missed Shots Fenwick+/- Blocked Shots Corsi+/-
20305 MTL 11 – C – GOMEZ, SCOTT 0 0 3 3 7 2
5
1 1
5
20305 MTL 13 – L – CAMMALLERI, MICHAEL 1 2 6 6 3 5
-3
6 3
0
20305 MTL 14 – C – PLEKANEC, TOMAS 1 2 6 8 2 4
-5
6 3
-2
20305 MTL 15 – C – NOKELAINEN, PETTERI 1 0 2 3 0 0
0
1 0
1
20305 MTL 21 – R – GIONTA, BRIAN 0 3 12 10 10 4
5
0 3
2
20305 MTL 26 – D – GORGES, JOSH 1 1 6 11 11 3
3
5 4
4
20305 MTL 31 – G – PRICE, CAREY 2 3 24 24 18 9
8
10 8
10
20305 MTL 32 – L – MOEN, TRAVIS 1 0 3 7 6 1
2
1 2
1
20305 MTL 51 – C – DESHARNAIS, DAVID 0 1 11 7 7 3
7
2 3
6
20305 MTL 52 – L – DARCHE, MATHIEU 0 0 3 3 0 0
0
2 1
1
20305 MTL 60 – R – PALUSHAJ, AARON 0 0 2 1 3 0
4
1 0
5
20305 MTL 61 – D – DIAZ, RAPHAEL 0 2 10 7 5 2
4
3 3
4
20305 MTL 67 – L – PACIORETTY, MAX 0 1 12 8 7 3
7
2 3
6
20305 MTL 68 – D – WEBER, YANNICK 1 0 8 6 3 2
4
2 1
5
20305 MTL 72 – L – COLE, ERIK 1 0 6 5 6 2
6
6 3
9
20305 MTL 74 – D – EMELIN, ALEXEI 0 2 10 6 4 4
2
3 4
1
20305 MTL 75 – D – GILL, HAL 1 0 8 9 3 3
0
2 0
2
20305 MTL 76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K. 1 1 6 10 10 4
2
5 4
3
20305 MTL 81 – C – ELLER, LARS 1 0 3 5 1 0
0
2 1
1