P.K. Subban scored a power play goal with 52 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Canadiens a comeback 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. Despite being considerably outplayed through the first half of the game, the Canadiens trailed only 1-0. Alex Galchenyuk tied the game on an early third period power play after the Predators outshot the Canadiens 28-13 through the first two periods. Final shots on goal were 37-27 in Nashville’s favour. The RDS three stars were Carey Price, Nashville defenseman Seth Jones and Subban.
Adding it Up –
“World Class” – The words Michel Therrien used to describe Carey Price in his post game comments. But we all knew that already didn’t we? Without him, this was in the books for Nashville by the end of the first period. Ten minutes into the second period the shots on goal were 25-5 for Nashville; scoring chances were 12-1. Price stopped them all. The only goal he gave up was on a Mike Ribeiro deflection. In eleven of his last 12 games Price has given up two goals or fewer. In six of those games, he allowed one goal. That’s pretty much ‘world class’.
At His Best – P.K. Subban had a great night. There have been nights when he has been very good offensively and lacked something in his own end. Other nights his defense has been good but he made bad decisions offensively. I can make the argument that this was his best game of the season from the moment the puck dropped to open the first period to his game winning goal at 4:08 of the overtime.
Same Old – Up to the time Nashville took their 1-0 lead, outside of Price and maybe Subban’s work in his own end, there wasn’t much to talk about from the Canadiens. If I were to pick a player who showed at least a bit of creativity it might have been Jiri Sekac. The Canadiens seemed to be standing around in awe of what Nashville was doing to them, especially in the neutral zone, which became almost impenetrable to them.
The Wake Up Call – The Habs are one of the best third period clubs in the NHL. Why that is, no-one seems to be able to explain. After only 13 shots through the first two periods the poured 12 on Carter Hutton in the third period. Six of the 12 shots came from the Eller line with Galchenyuk recording half of them. And of course Galchenyuk tied the game with what was his first power play goal of the season and he assisted on the game winner.
About the Power Play – That’s now seven power play goals the last four games for the Habs. So many things are hard to explain with this hockey club. The resurgence of the power play is jusat another one. Therrien says they’re making better decisions and getting the puck to the net with traffic. I guess we can go with that, although the followup question would be “Why now?” Both power play goals in this game were because of traffic. Galchenyuk was in front to tip Subban‘s shot for the first goal and Desharnais did a good job of screening Hutton on the game winner. Other than that it seems to be the usual suspects. On the seven recent PPG – Markov has 5 assists and Subban has three goals and one assist.
Also Worth Mentioning – ….Most of the positive stats for the Canadiens came in the final half of the game. In the end Galchenyuk and Pacioretty led the team with 4 shots on goal each; the lions share of that during the comeback. …..Hitting was another prominent part of Subban’s game. He lead the Canadiens with five. …..The last half of the game the Canadiens confidently controlled their own end of the ice. I thought the third pairing of Tom Gilbert and Alexei Emelin did more than their share in that department.
At The Break – The Canadiens go to the All-Star break with 61 pts in 45 games. They’re third in the Atlantic Division, three points behind Tampa who have played 48 games and two behind Detroit against whom the Habs have two games in hand. They’re earned a few days in the Florida sun.