Ryan White deflected a Jarred Tinordi shot past goaltender Martin Brodeur with 3:52 remaining to break a 2-2 tie and give the Canadiens a 3-2 win over New Jersey Monday night at the Bell Centre. Max Pacioretty scored two power play goals for the Canadiens. For the Devils it was former Hab Michael Ryder and Adam Larsson. The Canadiens outshot New Jersey 25-21. The three stars were Pacioretty, P.K. Subban who assisted on both Pacioretty goals and the Devils Adam Henrique.
Adding It Up –
Back and Better – Although he was the Canadiens top scorer last season, Max Pacioretty because of a series of nagging injuries, become a perimeter player. Injuries healed and it’s showing. Two power play goals and seven shots on Martin Brodeur in the first two periods.
Along For The Ride – With Pacioretty once again going to the net, David Desharnais is getting the room to make plays, which is the strength of his game. Daniel Briere was back on the line for only the second time in camp and as the game progressed so did his communication. His pass to Pacioretty for the first goal of the game couldn’t have been better timed.
Time toTake Him Seriously – Outside of a sequence that led to the Devils second goal, when he failed to clear the puck twice on a Devils power play, Jarred Tinordi was very, very good. He made an unteachable move to strip the puck from Eric Gelinas in the first period, played a nicely contained game and his wrist shot from the line was deflected by Ryan White for the game winner. Sending him to Hamilton is becoming difficult to justify.
The Other Rookie – There were only two in the game, Tinordi plus Michael Bournival. We saw the other side of Bournival in this game, the hard working checking forward but still with that goalscoring threat. He had a shorthanded breakaway in the second period, but his best moment came in the third period when a hard check behind the Devils net forced the turnover and he turned that into a terrific scoring chance. In this game he played right wing with White and Travis Moen and they looked good together. Unless there are injuries, he’ll probably start the season in Hamilton, but it won’t be long.
The Jump Is Back – There were times last year when it appeared Andrei Markov had lost some of his speed. It’s back. In my mind, he was the Canadiens best defenceman. He put in over 22 minutes, second only to Subban’s 23:39. At the outset I wondered about pairing him with Raphael Diaz but, at least for this game, they worked well together.
The Scrapper – Brandon Prust continues to play with Tomas Plekanec and Rene Bourque while everyone waits for Brian Gionta to be cleared. Prust was the best part of the line as the other two, in only their second game, continue to work on their timing. Prust also came out on top of a pretty good fight with 6’5″ rookie Alexander Urbom in the first period.
The Goaltender – Carey Price had a pretty good night. The goals he allowed including a fluky shot that went up over his shoulder and rolled down his back and a screen shot two seconds after a Devils power play had expired. Price was square to the puck and on his feet for the most part which is a sign that his defense doing a good job in front of him.
Moving On – The Canadiens move on to play back to back games with the Senators Wednesday at Kanata and Thursday back at the Bell Centre. Then they’ll do that retreat team-building thing before their season opener against the Leafs next Tuesday.