The New York Rangers behind a 22 save performance from rookie Cam Talbot shut the Canadiens out 1-0 Saturday night at the Bell Centre. Ryan Callahan was credited with the only goal of the game on a tip-in of a Brad Richards during a second period Rangers power play. Final shots on goal were 34-22 in favour of the Rangers. The three stars were Callahan, Talbot and Carey Price.
Adding It Up –
No Juice – The Canadiens looked like a team that had played a tough road game the night before, which they were. The Rangers looked like team who had the benefit of four days rest and were waiting in Montreal while the Canadiens were in Columbus. Which they were.
Lost In Space– The Canadiens offense. Over the last 11 games the Canadiens have scored a total of 18 goals. Only twice have they managed to score more than two in a game and twice they’ve been shutout.
The Easy Way – Either through weariness or simply looking for a quick fix, the Canadiens were completely off whatever game plan they had. It was a night filled with stretch passes that either were intercepted or wound up as icing.
Brutal Timing – Max Pacioretty took a slashing penalty deep in the Rangers zone while the Canadiens were killing off a penalty. It put the Canadiens two men short for 40 seconds.
The Goal – Although technically a 5-on-4 goal, in reality it was still 5-on-3 as Raphael Diaz was not back in the play after exiting the penalty box when Brad Richards got the puck alone in the slot with plenty of time to tee it up. Price said that even if Ryan Callahan had not deflected it, the puck was on it’s way into the net. It was the first goal Price had given up to the Rangers in 278 minutes and 28 seconds.
The Last Line – Carey Price stopped 33 of 34 shots his save percentage moved up to .936 and his goals against average dropped to 2.05. With statistics like that, how is it possible that he has a 7-8-2 record. The so-called goalscorers on the team should be embarrassed.
Quote of the Night – “My guys are playing excellent defensive hockey. That’s all that matters to me.” Carey Price, when asked whether he was frustrated by the Canadiens lack of offense.
Also Worth Mentioning – …….Alexei Emelin played in his first game since last April. Included in his game, was a hit on the Rangers Chris Kreider that looked exactly like the check on Milan Lucic that wrecked his knee. He came out of it fine and wound up with a very good debut. …..While Emelin showed no rust, Brandon Prust struggled in his second game back from the shoulder injury that kept him out of 11 games….…Brendan Gallagher missed Friday night’s game in Columbus with the flu. He should have given himself an extra day’s rest. Not only was he off his game, but he also dragged down his linemates who failed to register a shot on goal. …..If I were forced to choose a Canadiens forward who had an effective night it was Brian Gionta. Three shots on goal and he seemed to be around the puck a lot more than the rest of the forwards. ……David Desharnais was back between Pacioretty and Bourque. Once again, lots of hard work and nothing to show for it.
Moving On – The coming week looks just like the last one; a home game Tuesday and back to back games Friday and Saturday. Minnesota is at the Bell Centre Tuesday then they’re in Washington Friday and home to Pittsburgh Saturday.