The Edmonton Oilers may be the worst team in the NHL’s Western Conference but Bell Centre regulars know nothing about that. All they know is the last four times they’ve played in Montreal they’ve forced the Canadiens into overtime and Wednesday night they won the game.

The Canadiens held what seemed to be comfortable 3-1 lead with ten minutes remaining in the third period but then Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner scored in just over a three minute span to tie the game. Dustin Penner then took advantage of a Michael Cammalleri giveaway in overtime to win the game 4-3. It marked the first time this year the Canadiens had given up four goals in a game. The Canadiens got two power play goals by Scott Gomez and Mathieu Darche. Roman Hamrlik also scored for the Canadiens who outshot Edmonton 39-32. Hamrlik also drew an assist, for the 600th and 601st goals of his NhL career.

The Canadiens play at New Jersey Thursday night before returning home to face the San Jose Sharks on Saturday afternoon.

 Summing It Up – Jacques Martin thought the Canadiens played pretty well for the first thirty minutes of the game. At thirty minutes they had run up a 3-1 lead and seemed in control. From that point on, as Roman Hamrlik said, the team started to play “selfish hockey and you’re not going to beat anybody playing selfish hockey.” For the last half of the second period and the first half of the third, with the Canadiens resting on their laurels, it was all Carey Price. The sign that things were starting to fall apart was a long shift by the Canadiens defense in the fifth and sixth minutes of the third which led to an icing call and a necessary time out to rest his players. It was the most obvious sign that the Canadiens had stopped skating. Maybe the worst night of the season for P.K. Subban. He wasn’t alone. Michael Cammalleri appears to be a frustrated player. On the upside, there were solid efforts from Plekanec, Darche, Kostitsyn and Pouliot. In the end, the Canadiens took a point out of this game, probably one, but for Carey Price (again), they didn’t deserve.

How It Went

The First Period

Great Start – The first three of the first four Canadiens lines recorded shots on goal in the opening two minutes. Kostitsyn with the opening shot followed by a Plekanec miss on the rebound. Gomez a few seconds later and Lars Eller had a chance. Canadiens had a 9-4 shots-on-goal advantage when the Oilers Theo Peckanec was called for hooking.

He’ll Take Anything – On the power play the struggling Scott Gomez sent a pass in front intended for Mathieu Darche. It never got there. It went off the skate of Ryan Whitney and past goaltender Devan Dubnyk. Only Gomez 3rd goal and none has been pretty.

Penalty Trouble – The Canadiens were whistled for their third minor penalty of the period when Benoit Pouliot highsticked Tom Gilbert.

Tie Game – The Oilers gave up a 2-on-1 early in the power play. Travis Moen failing to score on a pass from Plekanec. Back at the other end, Sam Gagne gave it to Kurtis Foster who’s high, hard slapshot was absolutely screened by Josh Gorges. Power play goal. 1-1 tie after one period. Canadiens outshot the Oilers 14-9.

The Second Period

True Grit – Jean-Francois Jacques was called for highsticking P.K. Subban and on the power play Subban then hit Andrei Kostitsyn on the back of the leg with a crippling slapshot. Kostitsyn tried to get to the bench with Tomas Plekanec pushing him along the ice toward the bench so a replacement could get on the ice. (Kostitsyn missed one shift)

The Replacement – Michael Cammalleri replaced Kostitsyn and immediately drilled a shot off the crossbar, the puck bouncing down for Mathieu Darche who scored and it was 2-1 Canadiens. Two power play goals on three opportunities giving they eleven in their last 34 advantages at home. Roman Hamrlik drew the second assist for his 600th career point. 2-1.

Two Goal Lead – Two minutes later Benoit Pouliot did some great work inside the Edmonton zone before dishing it off to a pinching Roman Hamrlik who buried a twenty-footer. 3-1.

Wheels Falling Off – As the Canadiens mojo started to slip away, in the final ten minutes of the period Price had to stop Dustin Penner point blank a minute after the Hamrlik goal. Then it was Taylor Hall alone. Jordan Eberle had a great chance in the 15th minute and rolled it past the far post. And then it was Paajarvi forcing a great save followed by a pad save on the rebound off Sam Gagner’s shot. And then It was a glove save on Taylor Hall. In the final ten minutes of the period the scorfing chances were 6-2 for the Oilers. End of the second period – 3-1 Montreal. Shots on Goal in the second period, 13-11 in favour of Edmonton.

The Third Period

Harbinger – In the fifth minute of the period the Canadiens found themselves pinned back in their own end to the point that, after the puck was iced Jacques Martin was forced to call a time out to rest his defence.

Home to Roost – At 10:09 the Oilers hard work and the Canadiens lack-of-same came together. Magnus Paajarvi tipped the puck at Price causing a traffic jam in front of the net. Out of the pileup Ales Hemsky poked the puck into the net. 3-2.

Knotting It Up – With Shawn Horcoff in the penalty box for highsticking, A Cammalleri shot was blocked in the Edmonton end. When Subban fell, the Oilers had a 2 on 1 with Hemsky feeding Gagne. Gagne lifted a great twenty foot wrist shot over Price’s shoulder and the game was tied. 3-3 tie after three periods. Shots on goal 38-30 for the Canadiens.

The Overtime –

No Inspiration – There was no change in the Canadiens play through the previous thirty minutes. Tomas Plekanec did set up Cammalleri at around the 2 minute mark but on his next shift, Cammalleri, trying to be too cute with the puck, lost it to Dustin Penner with Subban moving up with the play. Penner broke away with nobody within 30 feet of him. Penner scored through Price’s five hole at 2:28. Game over. Edmonton-4 Canadiens-3. Overtime shots on goal 2-1 Edmonton.

The Goalscorers – Fostger (3rd) PPG (Gagner-Hemsky); Hemsky (7th) (Paajarvi-Vandermeer); Gagner (7th) SHG (Hemsky); Penner (8th) (unassisted) Montreal – Gomez (3rd) PPG (Cammalleri-Darche); Darche (4th) PPG (Cammalleri-Hamrlik); Hamrlik 92nd) (Pouliot-Eller).

Shots on Goal – Edmonton – 9-13-8-2 = 32 Canadiens 15-11-12-1 = 39

The Three Stars – First – Dustin Penner (game winning goal – 4 shots); Second – Mathieu Darche (1 goal 1 assist) Third – Roman Hamrlik (1 goal 1 assist – 4 shots)

The Fenwick/Corsi Statistics

Game Number Team Player Number Goals Saved shots Missed Shots Fenwick+/- Blocked Shots Corsi+/-
20358 MTL 6 – D – SPACEK, JAROSLAV 0 0 9 7 5 4 3 3 4 2
20358 MTL 11 – C – GOMEZ, SCOTT 0 0 10 5 2 2 5 4 3 6
20358 MTL 13 – L – CAMMALLERI, MICHAEL 0 1 10 6 1 1 3 3 3 3
20358 MTL 14 – C – PLEKANEC, TOMAS 0 1 8 7 4 3 1 3 2 2
20358 MTL 15 – C – HALPERN, JEFF 0 1 2 5 0 0 -4 2 1 -3
20358 MTL 21 – R – GIONTA, BRIAN 0 0 9 6 4 3 4 4 1 7
20358 MTL 26 – D – GORGES, JOSH 0 1 6 6 2 2 -1 6 3 2
20358 MTL 31 – G – PRICE, CAREY 1 2 27 19 9 8 8 13 8 13
20358 MTL 32 – L – MOEN, TRAVIS 0 0 7 4 1 2 2 2 2 2
20358 MTL 40 – C – LAPIERRE, MAXIM 0 1 5 6 2 0 0 2 1 1
20358 MTL 44 – D – HAMRLIK, ROMAN 1 1 9 8 5 5 1 4 2 3
20358 MTL 45 – D – PICARD, ALEXANDRE 0 0 11 5 2 1 7 4 3 8
20358 MTL 46 – L – KOSTITSYN, ANDREI 0 0 9 5 5 3 6 4 4 6
20358 MTL 52 – L – DARCHE, MATHIEU 1 0 5 2 2 3 3 5 1 7
20358 MTL 57 – L – POULIOT, BENOIT 1 0 7 3 3 3 5 4 1 8
20358 MTL 75 – D – GILL, HAL 0 1 6 6 2 3 -2 5 3 0
20358 MTL 76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K. 1 1 13 6 2 2 7 4 1 10
20358 MTL 81 – C – ELLER, LARS 1 0 6 3 3 3 4 4 3 5
20358 MTL 94 – C – PYATT, TOM 0 1 2 4 0 0 -3 2 0 -1

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