The Canadiens edged the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in a shootout Wednesday night at the Bell Centre. Lars Eller scored the game’s first goal and then scored the game winner in the shootout. Also scoring for the Canadiens were Brendan Gallagher and P.K. Subban. Subban also had an assist. Mika Zibanejad,. Daniel Alfredsson and Patrick Wiercioch scored for the Senators. The Canadiens outshot the Senators 45-32 including 13-3 in the third period. The game’s three stars were Eller, Subban and Gallagher. The Canadiens play four of their next six games on the road starting in New Jersey Saturday night. After the game the Canadiens returned defenceman Greg Pateryn to the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Adding It Up –
Still Rolling – The Canadiens are 12-1-3 through their last 16 games and hold a two point lead over Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference. They lead the Bruins by three points in the Northeast division. Boston holds three games in hand.
The Opener – When they score the first goal the Canadiens are now 13-3-3. Lars Eller gave the Canadiens the 1-0 lead seven minutes into a scrambled, close checking first period. Rookie Gabriel Dumont did some very good work behind the Ottawa net before trying the wrap around. Eller was there for the rebound.
In the Running – Brendan Gallagher is collecting a lot of interest from those who vote on the Calder Trophy. Gallagher got his stick on a hard power play shot from Max Pacioretty and deflected the puck past Robin Lehner to give the Canadiens a 2-1 lead. Gallagher’s 8th goal which makes him the second highest scoring rookie. He also has 8 assists leaving him third in rookie point scoring behind Tampa’s Corey Conacher and Jonathan Huberdeau of Florida.
Mixed Reviews – P.K. Subban blasted a shot past Lehner for the Canadiens second power play goal of the middle period. That made him the NHL’s highest scoring defenceman despite holding out the season’s first six games. Subban has picked up a point on each of the last nine Canadiens power play goals. On the other hand, Subban was charged with seven giveaways in the game and seemed to fall back into his habit of trying to do too much by himself. The two points and five shots on goal got him the game’s second star and I think the coach can live with that.
Wants a Mulligan – The Senators had only three shots in the third period. The first one caught Carey Price back in his crease. Patrick Wiercioch did a little toe drag and then let a hard wrister go that startled Price and the game was tied at 3. The rest of the third period the Canadiens outshot the Senators 13-2 but couldn’t beat Lehner.
Due Credit – The Senators injury list looks like the one the Canadiens had to deal with last season. But they don’t go away. Somehow they came away with a point in the game and finish their season series against the Canadiens with five of a possible eight points (2-1-1). This was the seventh time in the Senators last 12 games that they have been tied at the end of regulation time and their tenth straight one-goal game.
On His Game – Lars Eller was far and away the game’s best player. One of those nights when the puck never seemed to leave his side. Along with his goal, he had seven shots on goal, five of them great scoring chances. Linemates Alex Galchenyuk and Gabriel Dumont added another five to the total. One of Galchenyuk’s shots hit the crossbar with 1:20 left in regulation time. Eller and Galchenyuk used fancy moves in the shootout to score on Lehner. Eller’s shootout goal was the winner.
Two from the Room –
Lars Eller on his season so far – “I feel it’s going one way for me. It’s going up.”
Gabriel Dumont on his first NHL point – “I just happened to be playing with the two best guys on the ice tonight (Eller & Galchenyuk).