Some opponents, for any number of reasons, are a nightmare no matter where they might be positioned in the standings.  For Montreal, the Nashville Predators fit the bill. The predators ran their string of shutout hockey against the Canadiens to 138 minutes and 55 seconds during a 3-0 win at the Bell Centre Thursday night.  Last season Price was left to his own devices as the Predators poured 55 shots at him in a 2-0 win.  Andrei Markov scored the last Canadiens goal against them almost two years ago.  And last season, Carey Price faced 55 shots in a 2-0 loss in Nashville.    

Price can only do so much.  He kept his team in the game for two and a half periods while the rest of the key players were taking  the night off.

After a scoreless first period Marcel Goc scored what proved to be the game winner at 1:19 of the second period when he was left alone in front for a pass from former Canadien Francis Bouillon.

It remained 1-0 until 8:55 of the third period when Cal O’Reilly made it 2-0, followed two and a half minutes later by Goc’s second goal of the night. The loss ended a four game win streak for the Canadiens.

Summing It Up – The Canadiens didn’t put much thought or effort into the game. The best line on the night was the fourth line of Lars Eller, Travis Moen and Tom Pyatt, with Eller having his most effective night as a member of the Canadiens. At one point during the first period the Predators were outshooting Montreal 12-3. Total defensive breakdowns cost the Canadiens the first two goals. Price probably would love a replay on the third one, which was the first bad goal he’s allowed in about a month. The stat sheets will show busy offensive nights from Gionta, Cammalleri, Andrei Kostitsyn, Maxim Lapierre and P.K. Subban. They may have been busy but they accomplished little.   Outside of the Eller line, not a bad night for Alexander Picard on the defence.  That’s about it.  One of those nights. Next up – Toronto on Saturday night.

How It Went

The First Period

You Knew Early – The Predators were all over the Canadiens from the outset. Carey Price made good stops on Patric Hornqvist and Francis Bouillion in the first five and a half minutes in which the Canadiens were outshot 6-2 and outplayed by that margin.

A Rare Moment to Savour – At 7:48 P.K. Subban delivered the bodycheck of the night, open ice at the Canadiens blueline on Jordin Tootoo.

Back to Carey – The Predators 7th shot, a Cody Franson wrister in the 9th minute. In the 13th minute, after a steal by Cal O’Reilly, Hornqvist forced Price to make two saves at the goalmouth. 12-3 shots on goal. Still no score.

Still More #31 – At 16.30, Patrick Sullivan’s shot from close-in caused a goalmouth scramble with Martin Erat poking at the puck before Price eventually forced the faceoff. End of the first period 0-0. Nashville outshot the Canadiens 16-9.

The Second Period

Hard Work Pays – At 1:19 – Marcel Goc found himself completely alone in front of Price allowing former Hab Francis Bouillon to feed him. Goc, had time to go forehand to backhand to beat Price, who had no chance. It was the first shot of the period.

Now It Begins – Playing with the lead in an away building,  one area of the game in which the Predators excel. The Predators let the Canadiens come to them and frustrated them time after time. From the time of the goal to the end of the period the shots on goal were 12-4 for the Canadiens.

The Best Chance – Somehow, Jaroslav Spacek found himself in the unfamiliar position of being absolutely alone in front of the Nashville goal after Francis Bouillon handed him the puck. Rinne stopped him twice on two hard wrist shots. End of two periods – 1-0 Nashville. Shots on goal 21-21.

The Third Period

Nothing Doing – Maxim Lapierre, still on the Gomez line, got a perfect goalmouth pass in the second minute and fanned with the net wide open. Gomez set up Kostitsyn from thirty feet. His wrist shot hit Rinne in the middle of his chest protector. Moen had a chance in front at 7:50 deflecting Picard’s shot right into Rinne. Kostitsyn missed a wraparound attempt in the ninth minute.

And The Clincher – At 8.55 Roman Hamrlik missed a check along the boards on Patrick Sullivan. Cal O’Reilly then got behind Spacek to get in front. Price managed to get his stick on the pass-out but it went off the toe of O’Reilly’s skate into the net. It was reviewed but the goal stood.

Their Last Shot – It came at 11:17 of the third period. Goc with terrific 45 foot wrist shot that beat Price high to the stick side. Great shot, but Price should have stopped it. In the end, it was meaningless. The Canadiens didn’t have the wherewithall to mount any kind of offense on this night.

Calling It A Night – The final 8:43 of the game, the Predators outshot the Canadiens 6-0. Final score Nashville-3 Canadiens-0. Shots on goal 30-30.

The Goalscorers – Nashville Goc(4th) (Bouillon-Klein) O’Reilly(4th) (Sullivan-Hornqvist); Goc (5th) (Klein-Bouillon) Montreal – None.

Shots on Goal – Nashville 16-5-9= 30 Montreal 9-12-9 = 30

The Three Stars – First – Pekka Rinne (stopped all 30 shots) Marcel Goc (2 goals – 5 shots) Third – Francis Bouillon (2 assists – 3 shots)

P.K. Subban hits Jordin Tootoo 

The Fenwick/Corsi Numbers for the Game

Game Number Team Player Number Goals Saved shots Missed Shots Fenwick+/- Blocked Shots Corsi+/-
20272 MTL 6 – D – SPACEK, JAROSLAV 0 2 9 12 0 1 -6 5 2 -3
20272 MTL 11 – C – GOMEZ, SCOTT 0 0 14 9 0 2 3 1 4 0
20272 MTL 13 – L – CAMMALLERI, MICHAEL 0 3 5 7 1 1 -5 5 5 -5
20272 MTL 14 – C – PLEKANEC, TOMAS 0 3 4 10 1 1 -9 5 5 -9
20272 MTL 15 – C – HALPERN, JEFF 0 0 3 2 1 0 2 1 1 2
20272 MTL 21 – R – GIONTA, BRIAN 0 2 10 7 2 2 1 5 5 1
20272 MTL 26 – D – GORGES, JOSH 0 1 11 4 3 3 6 0 6 0
20272 MTL 31 – G – PRICE, CAREY 0 3 27 23 7 6 2 11 10 3
20272 MTL 32 – L – MOEN, TRAVIS 0 1 6 3 4 3 3 3 0 6
20272 MTL 40 – C – LAPIERRE, MAXIM 0 0 6 11 0 1 -6 2 3 -7
20272 MTL 44 – D – HAMRLIK, ROMAN 0 3 8 9 0 1 -5 8 0 3
20272 MTL 45 – D – PICARD, ALEXANDRE 0 0 10 6 4 2 6 3 3 6
20272 MTL 46 – L – KOSTITSYN, ANDREI 0 0 11 11 1 1 0 2 5 -3
20272 MTL 52 – L – DARCHE, MATHIEU 0 0 2 2 1 0 1 1 1 1
20272 MTL 57 – L – POULIOT, BENOIT 0 0 6 3 2 2 3 1 1 3
20272 MTL 75 – D – GILL, HAL 0 0 7 9 3 3 -2 0 6 -8
20272 MTL 76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K. 0 0 9 6 4 2 5 6 3 8
20272 MTL 81 – C – ELLER, LARS 0 0 7 2 5 3 7 4 0 11
20272 MTL 94 – C – PYATT, TOM 0 0 4 2 3 1 4 3 0 7