All is forgiven among hockey fans in Montreal. Over 17,000 fans braved freezing temperatures to turn out for the Canadiens only organized pre-season game, a two-period intrasquad contest that wound up in a twenty-round shootout.
For the record the Reds beat the Whites 4-3. Rene Bourque, Max Pacioretty and Michael Bournival scored for the Reds. Mike Blunden scored twice for the Whites with Tomas Kaberle adding a power play goal.
Brandon Prust scored the winning goal in the twenty round shootout. Alex Galchenyuk and Andrei Markov also scored for the Reds. Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty scored for the Whites. The shootout went long enough that David Desharnais had three opportunities for the Reds.
The game, as one could expect, was basically a no-hitter. Only two minor penalties were called in the forty minutes of play. Eric Cole was handed a penalty shot early in the second period but failed to score.
A total of 29 players took part in the game, fourteen on the White team including goaltender Peter Budaj. Carey Price was part of the fifteen player Red team.
The best line of the game was, not surprisingly, the Red combination of Desharnais, Pacioretty and Cole. Also with the Reds, Michael Blunden, who was called up from Hamilton specifically for this game played with Louis Leblanc (another late callup) and centre Gabriel Dumont. Their third line was Ryan White centering Colby Armstrong and Brendan Gallagher.
Galchenyuk was again noticeable, but the environment of this game was far from the competitive type of action he would see in regular NHL competition. In his case the Canadiens are going to have a tough decision.
Best defense pairing was Andrei Markov-Alexei Emelin both of whom played the first part of the season in the KHL. Tomas Kaberle was also noticable on defence.
For the White side, in the absence of Tomas Plekanec, who was resting a rib injury, Lars Eller was moved up to play between Brian Gionta and Galchenyuk. Michael Bournival centred Patrick Holland and Yannick Weber and Brandon Prust was between Rene Bourque and Travis Moen.
The Canadiens will wrap up their six day training camp Friday at their Brossard training facility. They play the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night to begin their 48 game season.