There might have been some second guessing when it was learned that Ben Scrivens was going to start his second game in twenty four hours. Yes he did the job Saturday against Edmonton, but still fresh in everyone’s mind were his first four starts with the Canadiens and that .873 save percentage.
Scrivens found a way to get the job done. After giving up a goal to Jeff Skinner on the second Carolina shot of the game, he stopped each of the next 32 and five more in the shootout to earn the game’s first star. Along the way he flopped. He scrambled. He stopped the puck when he was flat on his back. And then he was perfect in the five round shootout to give the Canadiens a second win in a row for the first time since late November.
This was a terrible hockey game that Scrivens saved. The Canadiens weren’t very good. Carolina tried to take advantage of the fact it was their second game in 24 hours by putting in a grinding road game effort to take the crowd out of the mix. They were successful in that, but in the end it looked like the Canadiens were doing the same thing and the Bell Centre was like a mausoleum at least until the overtime period.
There were some good things. The Plekanec/Galchenyuk/Gallagher line had another very good game, although they didn’t get the results they had against Edmonton on Saturday.
Max Pacioretty showed signs of life. After only one unmemorable shot against Edmonton he came back with five against the Hurricanes. He used his excellent shot to finally score his 20th goal of the season and among his eight shot attempts, four were strong scoring chances. Pacioretty brought a little life to the Desharnais line but the team needs a lot more or they remain a one-line hockey team.
SUBBAN ROLLS ON
P.K. Subban got another point. Over the last six games he has picked up points on 9 of the Canadiens last 16 goals.
And Andrei Markov, who we had written off only a week ago, seems to have found another gear.
Lars Eller continues to thrive on his move back to centre. May he never see left wing again. And he seems to have brought both Tomas Fleischmann and Sven Andrighetto along with him. Andrighetto gives Eller and Fleischmann a little offensive spark.
Alexei Emelin had a pretty good day.
A win is a win. Take it. Go home and enjoy the Super Bowl. But at the same time, leave the bandwagon parked in the garage.
Summing up the weekend, the Canadiens jumped all over an Edmonton Oilers team on Saturday who’s collective mind was elsewhere. This game was nothing to love about this game beyond the fact that the Canadiens pulled out two points.
Next up Tampa on Tuesday. Win that one and we’ll talk.