Led by Carey Price, the Canadiens defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings 6-2 in a rare Friday night game at the Bell Centre. Price, making his sixth consecutive Canadiens start, stopped 44 of 46 shots. Jiri Sekac led the Canadiens with two goals. Andrei Markov, P.K. Subban, David Desharnais and Sven Andrighetto scored the others. For the Kings it was Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty. The Canadiens were outshot in the game 46-20. The RDS three stars were Price, Doughty and Sekac.
Making Sense of It –
Standing Tall – This was one of those games where Carey Price carried his teammates on his back. It was another of those first periods that only the Canadiens seem capable of producing on a regular basis. The Kings poured 14 shots at him. The Canadiens managed only four. None after the ninth minute. Price was there. If I were forced pick a defining moment it would be during a second period power play when he made A-plus saves on Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Brown again.
Capitalists – I’m not so sure I really want to blame LA’s goaltending. Martin Jones has had some pretty good nights backing up Jonathan Quick. This was not his night. The Canadiens had a 3-0 lead on eight shots. The first two goals came on power plays. After that it was all catch-up for the Kings who had played the night before in Ottawa.
Confounding the Analytics Crowd – Games like this are hard to explain statistically. The Corsi possession numbers show the Kings ahead 92-41. Give the defense some credit. There were 46 shots on Price but there were also another 32 blocked. The Advanced Stats people will tell us that this kind of thing go on forever. I tend to agree, but the Habs have been going like this for more than a third of the season now.
Playing With the Lead – Significant moment in the first period with the Canadiens on a power play. P.K. Subban took a pass from Plekanec and instead of going into his patented windup, he quickly wristed the puck towards the net. Jiri Sekac deflected it and the Canadiens took a 1-0 into the dressing room after one period. Not that P.K. has given up on his lethal weapon. The goal that made it 3-0 was a 100 mile an hour slapper. We’re seeing the old P.K. these days. Eight points his last seven games.
The Canadiens Best – When a team is being outshot 46-20 the subject of offense is not the first thing to come to mind. If I were to pick and choose, I thought Desharnais, Parenteau and Prust were very much involved. Best game for Desharnais in a month. Same with Parenteau. Prust always gives the his teammates the same thing.
A Keeper – Anyone paying even a passing notice of what was going on with the Hamilton Bulldogs knew that Sven Andrighetto had an NHL future. I can’t imagine even he dreamed of a beginning like this one. The Kings were still threatening at 4-2 when Andrighetto took Michael Bournival‘s feed to put it out of reach. Three NHL games – 2 goals, 1 assist and plus-2. One more tough decision for Michel Therrien when Lars Eller comes off injury reserve.
Also Worth Mentioning – ……Things tend to chance with the slightest setback but I like the way the lines are set up right now. ……The Euro Line (Plekanec/Sekac/Andrighetto) had a good night. …..Although they weren’t as dominant as they were against Vancouver, the Galchenyuk line had it’s moments as well. …..And finally, Manny Malhotra was on the ice for a goal; the first time this season. Malhotra took almost every important defensive zone faceoff again. He won 14 of 19 in his own end and 17 of 22 overall…..As a team the Canadiens were 63%. Galchenyuk won 9 of 13 which is illuminating.
Moving On – Two in row in the bank against tough opponents. Next up the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday and then Anaheim Thursday. They’ll be honouring Saku Koivu before the Anaheim game. The Canadiens started the week in 11th place overall in the league. The two wins have moved them up to a points tie for 5th, only three points behind league leading Anaheim.