The Canadiens scored three unanswered third period goals and came from behind to defeat the Boston Bruins 4-2 Saturday night at the Bell Centre. David Desharnais scored what proved to be the winning goal with 1:08 remaining in regulation time after Lars Eller had tied the game in the ninth minute of the period. Max Pacioretty then added an empty net goal to finish it off. The other Canadiens goal was scored by Tomas Plekanec in the first period. Shots on goal were 33-31 in favour of the Canadiens who expanded their early season record to 13-2-1. The three stars were Desharnais, Plekanec and goaltender Mike Condon.
Adding It Up –
Relentless – Canadiens third periods are becoming somewhat legendary. Four times the Canadiens put the puck in the net behind Boston goaltender Jonas Gustavsson. The game referees allowed three of them. Tomas Plekanec might have had a second goal in the game but after a video review the referees, somewhat controversially ruled that Brendan Gallagher was in the crease. So it’s three third period goals and in the third periods of their sixteen games this season the Canadiens have outscored their opponents 23-8.
Could Have Been Different – Very early in the game this looked one of the rare poor efforts for the Canadiens. They were guilty of mindless icings twice in the first 28 seconds. At 1:04 they took a too-many-men penalty and 46 seconds later the Bruins took a 1-0 lead on Loui Eriksson’s power play goal. The Canadiens didn’t get the lead in the game until 18:52 of the third period.
And now Condon is 6-0-1 to start his career. He still leads the league with a 1.57GAA and his save% is now .940. Condon’s six wins equals the total victories from the Canadiens backup goaltender all of last season.
Man Advantage – The Bruins David Krejci picked up all three Bruins penalties. On the ‘dumb meter” the crosschecking minor he took on Tomas Plekanec with just over two minutes remaining in a tie game was off the charts and it led to Desharnais‘ game winner. The Canadiens have at least one power play goal in each of their last six games. The team scored only two goals over their first 21 advantages (9.5%). Since then they are have 13 on their last 34 chances which adds up to 38.2 percent.
….Max Pacioretty came into the game nursing a six game goalscoring drought. After only one harmless shot on goal through the first two period, Pacioretty appeared to start snapping out of it with five shots in the third. The fifth shot was the empty net goal.
….David Desharnais scored the game winner. Over his last five games he has 3 goals, 4 assists.
….Alex Galchenyuk drew first assist on both the tying and winning goals. What is very noticable is Galchenyuk’s performance in the face-off circle. He won nine of twelve against the Bruins and leads the Canadiens centres at 54%.
….Alexei Emelin loves to get physical against the Bruins. It’s been like that since he joined the Canadiens five years ago. He set the tone early with five heavy hits in the first period alone, and led the Canadiens with seven.
….Lars Eller has five goals this season. Three of them against the Bruins.
….Off the Scoresheet – Gallagher and Galchenyuk with two points each. Pacioretty finished with six shots; Subban with 5. Subban led with 13 shot attempts. Alexei Emelin had seven hits but right behind him was Paul Byron with five.
Moving On – The Canadiens get a schedule break. They will play in Pittsburgh on Wednesday and then return home for three more games starting with Colorado next Saturday. The only outstanding question is the date of Carey Price‘s return. There’s a strong possibility that Michel Therrien gives Price a little more time with whatever ails him and keeps him out until the Colorado game. Why not, the way the rookie is playing?