The Edmonton Oilers scored four straight goals after the Canadiens had taken a 2-0 lead and edged the Canadiens 4-3 Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. Ales Hemsky, Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry and Ryan Jones scored after Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher had given the Canadiens their early lead. Brian Gionta scored a meaningless goal with three seconds left to complete the scoring. Shots on goal were even at 32. The three stars were Smid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2 assists) and Gallagher.
Adding it Up –
Excellent Beginning – The Canadiens won the first period hands down. They outshot the Oilers 14-8 and got a power play goal from Tomas Plekanec on a quick three way play off a faceoff with Markov and Bournival assisting at 16:36. Less than two minutes later, Brendan Gallagher intercepted an ill advised pass and scored and it was 2-0 at the break.
Out the Door – The Canadiens have trouble keeping it together through three period. Whatever their game plan was to start the game, was off the table in the second period. Glaring errors accounted for two second period Edmonton goals, first by Ales Hemsky who turned the defense inside out in the slot and then defenseman Ladislav Smid who was left unguarded to put a rebound past the scrambling Carey Price. 2-2 after two periods and the game had turned.
“Inappropriate Comment” – Michel Therrien’s post game assessment of Lars Eller’s bulletin board comment earlier in the day that the Oilers “play like juniors”. In the second and then the third period, it was the Canadiens who were disorganized and scrambling.
Panic Mode – With the Oilers having their way, whatever team concept the Canadiens possessed in the first and sporadically in the second, completely disappeared in the third. They were guilty, almost to a man, of trying to do it all themselves. The worse offender was P.K. Subban, but only because when he tries that stuff it’s spectacular failure. In others it’s more subtle.
Easy Pickings – With Habs forwards off doing their own thing, the Oilers scored both third period goals on two-on-one breaks. Gorges was caught up ice and no forward picked up the point leaving Diaz alone to deal with Nugent-Hopkins and Petry who scored the goal. Same thing on the game winner with Subban caught on the oddman rush and Price unable to control the rebound.
Worth Mentioning – …..Travis Moen was moved up to play with David Desharnais and Rene Bourque. He had an excellent first period that featured three scoring chances and some very aggressive forechecking work. After that, his game went in the same direction as most of his teammates ….As usual, the Eller line was the busiest but not the most effective. Brendan Gallagher scored his goal thanks to Ryan White who forced the giveaway pass. Otherwise they were part of the team’s lost cohesion. Plekanec/Gionta/Bournival were probably the only bright spot. 12 shots on goal, five each from Plekanec and Gionta and some pretty good work from Bournival. ….Patrick Holland made his NHL debut on the Canadiens fourth line with Ryan White and Michael Blunden. He played 6 1/2 minujtes and 13 shifts. The fourth line was not the Canadiens problem on this night. …..Otherwise….a night to forget in almost every department.
From the Room – The main thing to come out player’s post game comments was frustration over the inability to put sixty minutes of solid hockey together this season. Carey Price mentioned that the team “sat back to much”. Brian Gionta said, “You can’t play one period and expect to come out on top.” Brendan Gallagher pointed out the Canadiens were “over aggressive” in the second and third periods. And Therrien concluded with “We’ll get better.” They’d better, with Anaheim and then San Jose here Thursday and Saturday to conclude the home stand.