Among the 21 shots he faced, eight were high danger scoring chances. With the game still scoreless he stopped Justin Abdelkader on a 2-on-1 that might have changed the complexion of the game. A minute later Max Domi scored the game’s first goal.
It was in the third period with the Canadiens leading 2-1 that Price really got the “Carey, Carey” chants going.
Todd Bertuzzi had clear breakaway all the way from centre ice and made all of the right moves to tie the game except Price got his left pad out to stop him.
That was just the beginning. The rebound came right over to Frans Nielsen. Somehow Price got his stick his shot before flopping flat on his back to smother Thomas Vanek‘s attempt.
During 315 career wins we’ve seen this dozens of times.. It never gets old.
You can argue that Jonathan Drouin has the Canadiens best puck handling skills. If true, Max Domi is a close second. The difference between the two; Drouin is missing Domi’s competitiveness, motivation and puck sense.
Once again Domi scored a critical goal. The Canadiens had complete territorial control through the first half of the game with a puck possession Corsi-rate of 69% but they were making things easy on Jonathan Bernier with poorly directed and easilyhandled shots. Domi took care of that going right to the goalmouth to deflect Andrew Shaw‘s pass. He added his 24th goal into the empty net. Domi had six shots on goal.
I don’t know what think of Drouin. He did all kinds of fancy things with the puck and again accomplished nothing. He has no goals and four assists his last 13 games, all of the assist in the Detroit game two weeks ago. Not only that, he seems to be dragging down Kotkaniemi and Armia who in most games have always been to be in the 60% Corsi possession range. Against Detroit Tuesday night the line was 44%, the only Canadiens line below 60%.
Who knows whether their acquisition is going be enough to get the Canadiens into the playoffs, but Jordan Weal and Nate Thompson have really changed the face of what was a nearly useless fourth line. Both Nicolas Deslauriers and Dale Weise were in the press box and the line of Weal, Thompson and Lehkonen had a really good night. An indication of how Claude Julien feels about the three of them; both Thompson and Weal logged 1:54 penalty killing time, Lehkonen 2:00. And Julien put Weal and Lehkonen on the ice in the final minute with the Detroit net empty. It was Weal that made that good play off the boards to send Domi in for his empty net goal. Weal also hit a goalpost in the second period.
ALSO WORTH MENTIONING
….Weal won six of eight faceoffs while Thompson won five of seven (together 73%).
….It wasn’t a particularly good night for the slower members of the Canadiens defence, especially Jordie Benn. It was Benn that coughed up the puck that led to that near critical third period Tyler Bertuzzi breakaway. Shea Weber also had trouble with Detroit speed but also produced six shots on goal.
….Brett Kulak did some good things in the game, including posting the game winning goal. Kulak also got turned inside out and failed to take out Andreas Anasathiou on his third period goal.
….The win was the Canadiens ninth in a row over Detroit dating back to March 21st 2017.During that streak the Canadiens have outscored the Wings 48-18. The last time Detroit won at the Bell Centre was December 4th, 2007. Dominik Hasek was the winning goaltender over Price. 44 year old Chris Chelios was named the game’s third star.
….Tomas Tatar assisted on the first two goals. He has put up eight points in four games against the Wings since he was traded (2 goals; 6 assists). His 28 assists are a career high. He needs six points to reach his career-points high (56).
….Along with putting in another of his competitive games and producing four shots on goal and a team leading three high danger chances, Brendan Gallagher also drew second assist on the winning goal. Gallagher has nine goals his last eight games vs. the Wings.
….Price is 8-0-1 with a .942 save percentage in his last nine games at home.
Columbus and Pittsburgh also won Tuesday night. The Canadiens remain tied with the Blue Jackets with 79 points but Columbus has the second wild-card berth because of the regulation/overtime wins (ROW) tiebreaker which favours the Blue Jackets 38-35.
The Canadiens will play the first of their two remaining games with the Islanders in New York Thursday before returning home to meet Chicago Saturday night.
It is often said that 95 is the points cutoff for making the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. If it holds up again this season the Canadiens will need to put up sixteen points through their final twelve games. Considering the fact that nine of those games are against teams ahead of them in the standings, this is not going to be easy.