The St. Louis Blues came from behind a 2-1 deficit to tie the game midway through the third period and then beat the Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout. It was the Canadiens third straight loss. After trailing 1-0 on a goal by Alexander Steen early in the game, the Habs got goals from Rene Bourque and Michael Bournival in the second period before Chris Stewart deflected the puck past Carey Price to tie the game at 10:31 of the third period. Tomas Plekanec was given a penalty shot with 49 seconds remaining but failed to score. T.J. Oshie scored the only goal of the shootout.
Shots on goals were 32-27 for the Blues.
The three stars were Oshie, Carey Price and Michael Bournival.
Adding It Up –
Late Arrival – The Canadiens are going to have to become more aware of gametimes. Once again they failed to compete early. The Blues hemmed them in their own end for the first half of the opening period. At the 12 minute mark the shots were 8-2 and the Canadiens defence had already blocked eight shots.
Bad Habit – In sixteen games this season, the Canadiens have given up the game’s first goal nine times. . They’ve lost eight of those games including this one.
The Opener – During that full court press by the Blues, David Backes behind the net checked Douglas Murray off the puck and fed Alexander Steen for the opening goal of the game.
Uphill Battle– The Canadiens did make it back for awhile thanks to a defense that was prepared to deal with a huge territorial edge by the Blues and some important work in the net by Carey Price. Rene Bourque took care of a rebound created by Andrei Markov as he cut through the crease on Halak to tie the game. Halak was shaken up but remained in the game. Still in the second period, Brian Gionta checked the puck away Jay Bouwmeester to Michael Bournival who was along in the slot. 2-1 Canadiens.
The Other Shoe Dropped – You can’t spend as much time in your own end as the Canadiens did without something bad happening. And it did midway through the third period. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk let a shot go that hit, and that’s the only way to describe it, ‘hit’ Chris Stewart in front and deflected past Price to tie the game.
What Was That About? – With 49 seconds remaining in regulation time Tomas Plekanec was presented with a penalty shot after the net was pulled off it’s moorings by David Backes. It was ruled intentional and the ‘book’ says, inside two minutes remaining in regulation time a penalty shot is called for. For the record, Plekanec failed to score and the game went to overtime and then the shootout and, ultimately the Canadiens third loss in a row.
Says It All – The Blues had the puck almost twice as much as the Canadiens taking 79 shots at Carey Price while in the Blues end there were only 43 attempts by the Canadiens. They managed to get a point out of this game only because the defense blocked a record 38 of those St. Louis attempts.
Worth Mentioning – ……The circus surrounding P.K. Subban; most of it created by Michel Therrien, is getting tiresome. It appears that the the coaching staff is trying to make him into something he isn’t. Subban’s ice time was limited to 20:52 with no penalty killing time. ….Once again the Plekanec line was the Canadiens best. Ten shots on goal, six of them by Plekanec and their usual solid work in their own end. ………..I can’t imagine where the Canadiens would be without the way Carey Price is playing. Price routinely delivers some of the most thoughtful post game analysis I’ve heard since the days of Ken Dryden. Not on this night. For whatever reason (losing is the first thing that comes to mind), Price was in a foul mood although polite when he faced the post-game media, but the time he devoted was short and he was heard exiting with a one word expletive that perfectly described his frustration………….Although they didn’t produce any points, Galchenyuk/Gallagher/Pacioretty had a good night. In faceoffs, not so much. Galchenyuk won only 1 of six. When asked, usually on right side draws, Gallagher was 3 out of 7. ……..….Martin St.Pierre started the night on the fourth line with only eight shifts through the first two periods. Therrien liked him enough that he bumped him up to the Eller line for some late duty including a late power play. …………..Maybe it’s memories of that concussion he took in the opening game of the season, but one has to be concderned about the end result of George Parros fights. He won his first period battle with the Blues Kevin Reaves but at the end Reaves fell heavily on top of him as he hit the ice. Same thing happened in Colorado on Sunday….…….Douglas Murray takes some getting used to. He was blindsided in giving up the puck on the opening goal but he also blocked a game-leading eight shots and his coach was confident enough that he gave him 16:16 ice time including 4:12 killing penalties.
Moving On – The Canadiens will play the Senators for the first time, Thursday in Kanata. Then home for a Sunday evening game against the Islanders. 6:05 gametime. Fourteen of the next fifteen games are against Eastern Conference opponents which, all things considered, can only be a good thing.