The Sharks took a 2-0 first period lead leaving the inadquately prepared Canadiens with playing catch up for the rest of the night before bowing 3-1.
AGAIN LATE TO THE PARTY
This was the second game in twenty-four hours for both teams. San Jose came into the game mentally prepared to compete. The Canadiens weren’t. After going down 0-2, the Canadiens spent the entire night unsuccessfully playing catch up.
A poor Canadiens opening period is something we’ve seen more than a few times through the season’s first twenty-seven games. This one was bad. A turnover by Jeff Petry led to the opening goal, one that Carey Price should have stopped. A five-on-three power play gave San Jose their 2-0 lead. At that point eleven minutes into the game the shots on goal favoured the Sharks 10-1.
After that, even a 22 shot third period by the Canadiens wasn’t enough.
….The Canadiens have lost six of their last seven games, managing only four of a possible fourteen points. It’s notable that in each of the six losses the Canadiens trailed at the end of the first period. This is the third game in a row they have posted 40 or more thoughts. Despite their 131 shot total they’ve lost two of the three games, all at home. With one game remaining the homestand sits at 1-3-0.
Shea Weber didn’t get a point in this game but he was still a towering presence both literally and figuratively. During the same power play in the third period Weber’s booming shot snapped off the top half of Martin Jones goal stick and then his shot broke the stick of one of the Sharks defenders. Weber wound up taking seven shots, three of them on-goal. He posted six hits, one of which won’t soon e forgotten by Joonas Donskoi. The interference penalty handed Shea as a result was questionable.
ALSO WORTH MENTIONING
….Thanks to their Saturday night win over the Rangers, with 29 points in 27 games, the Canadiens moved back into the second wild card playoff berth. They’re tied with the Rangers in points but the Rangers have played 28 games.
….Carey Price made his second start in 24 hours. You could question the first goal by Justin Braun from 50 feet out. Not much he could do about the Brent Burns or Joe Pavelski shots.
….We mentioned that Paul Byron‘s timing was a little off after missing a full month. He was much better in this game. He led the Canadiens with three high danger scoring chances most notably a deflection and rebound on a third period setup from Jesperi Kotkaniemi.
….Kotkaniemi‘s ice time was limited to ten shifts and 7:39 through the first two periods. Thanks to a seven shift third period he finished at 12:53.
….Mike Reilly is most effective when he’s confidently rushing the puck. He was doing that in this game and the result was one of his better nights. One of his end to end rushes split the San Jose defence and led to one of the Canadiens best scoring chances of the night.
….The Domi line was the Canadiens best. They were on the ice for the only goal with Drouin and Shaw drawing assists for Jeff Petry.
….The Canadiens wrap up the five game home stand with a game Tuesday night against Ottawa. It will be the first of a home and home against the Senators. They’ll play in Ottawa Thursday. The Senators are only two points behind the Canadiens. After Ottawa it’s on to Chicago Sunday and Minnesota next Tuesday.