The Los Angeles Kings brought the Canadiens winning streak down with a vengeance, recording a 6-0 victory at the Bell Centre Tuesday night. Going into the game the Canadiens had won five games in a row and had allowed more than two goals only once in their last 14 games. Six different members of the Kings shared in the goalscoring, Jordan Nolan, Anze Kopitar, Alec Martinez, Tyler Toffoli Jake Muzzin and Justin Williams. Playing in only his third career NHL game, Martin Jones recorded his second shutout. Shots on goal in the game were even at 30 apiece. The three stars, all from Los Angeles, were Jones, Kopitar and Muzzin.
Adding It Up
Good in the First Period –All was Not great, but pretty good. The Canadiens looked like they were going to bring the house down with seven shots in their first power play of the game but then In the eighth minute Anse Kopitar was left wide open and Carey Price’s rebound went right to Jordan Nolan to make it 1-0. Going into the game the Kings were 13-2-2 when scoring first.
The Killer – Still the Canadiens held their own for all but the final seventeen seconds of the period. That’s when Daniel Briere for some reason iced the puck rather than controlling it and running out the clock. Kopitar won the ensuing faceoff cleanly from Lars Eller then got it back from Mike Richards with both Markov and Subban sleeping on the play. It came at 19:47 and you could almost feel the air come out of the Canadiens bench.
It Was Coming – Anyone who watched the Canadiens through the last three games could tell you the team was a bit lucky to win. They beat the Devils twice by a goal and a solid first period helped them past Boston. So the due date was up and in the second period as team captain Brian Gionta said the Canadiens were “terrible”. And they were, top to bottom.
Part of the Problem – Carey Price had his first really bad night of the season. His defence was having a god-awful night but Price didn’t make what one would consider to be a key stop either. Counting the late goal in the first plus the Alex Martinez and Tyler Toffoli goals in the first six minutes of the second period, Price gave up three goals on five shots and, mercifully he was out of there with the score 4-0.
The Rest Is History – Peter Budaj came on and gave up two more in a second period in which the Kings outshot the Canadiens 13-3. After that, it was garbage time and a scoreless third period. One to put away and forget. There are always one or two of these along the way in every season.
Lesson Learned – Don’t turn up emotionally ill-prepared to play as the Canadiens arrived for this game. Especially don’t come up competitively short when you’re playing a team from the West that can match your speed and is bigger than you are. 6-0 is the result.
Worth Mentioning – For someone who was minus-3 in the game, I thought Alexei Emelin had a pretty good night, especially in the first period when he recorded 4 solid hits. He had six in the game. ……As for the rest of the defense one word says it all – awful. …….Alex Galchenyuk was the Canadiens best forward by far. Seven shots on goal, a couple of takeaways. ….Same thing with Brendan Gallagher, but then again Gallagher always plays the game with the same speed and energy. …..In his third period shakeup, Therrien re-united the Kid Line. Of the Canadiens ten shots in the period, the Kids had six. Everyone else had packed it in. They should be embarrassed. ……Galchenyuk and Gallagher had a clean sheet in the plus/minus department. There were two at minus-3; Emelin and Markov and seven at minus-2. …..It’s second guessing, but I’m sure it’s crossed Therrien’s mind as well that Douglas Murray might have been a better fit against that big Kings lineup than Francis Bouillon.
Ahead – Another three in four nights, the first two on the road at Philadelphia Thursday and the Islanders on Saturday. Then back home to play Florida at 6:00pm Sunday.