The Canadiens are in the playoffs. 

P.K. Subban scored a power play goal at 1:19 of overtime for a hardfought 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the Bell Centre Tuesday night.    The win left the Can adiens alone in 6th place in the Eastern Conference, a position they’ve held for most of the last twenty-six games.  Michael Cammalleri gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead in the second period but Patrick Kane scored three minutes later to tie it up.  Carey Price faced twenty shots in the third period and forty-three on the night  in getting the win.

 

Summing It Up –

…..Where to start?  This was a great piece of entertainment, no matter who was eventually declared the winner.  A reprise of what we saw through nineteen games of last year’s playoffs.  

…..First there was Carey Price.  He was good in the first period, but the Canadiens had control.  He was better in the second period as the Hawks started to find their skating legs.  He was spectacular in the third especially during a power play in which Chicago peppered him with seven shots, four of them in the first twenty-four seconds.  Included was a highlight reel save in which Price batted the puck out of midair with his glove while flat on his back.  Shots on goal were 20-9 in the third period and 43-36 overall.

…..P.K. Subban was the best part of a top-to-bottom outstanding night for the game’s six defensemen.  Subban’s fifth shot on goal was the overtime game-winner.  We know all about Subban, Gill, Wisniewski and Hamrlik.  What was really encouraging was the play of Brent Sopel and Paul Mara.  Sopel blocked six shots.  Mara had three blocks.  The Canadiens defense blocked 25 shots to 13 by Chicago. 

….Up front Andrei Kostitsyn was probably the best forward on the ice (with due respect to the Blackhawks Patrick Kane).  Kostitsyn made a great play from behind the net to set up Cammalleri for the first goal and sent a perfect cross-ice pass to Subban for the game winner.

….Not to underestimate the contributions of Kostitsyn’s linemates, Cammalleri and Plekanec.  The three combined for twelve shots on goal.  Cammalleri and Kostitsyn each had five.  Cammalleri had five scoring chances in the third period, most of them set up by Plekanec.

…..If there can be a down side in a game like this, it might have been Mathieu Darche who didn’t seem to have much jump to his game on this night.  In the third period, he was replaced by Benoit Pouliot on the Gomez/Gionta line.

…..We could have done without the penalties.  The Canadiens took five to Chicago’s three in regulation time.  But all was forgiven, when P.K. Subban broke up a Jonathan Toews partial overtime breakaway and then drew the penalty that paved the way for his overtime winner.

And so it goes.  The Canadiens are in the playoffs.  Now it’s a matter of who they play in the first round.  Right now it’s Boston.  But the hold on sixth place is tenuous with two games remaining.  Buffalo won Tuesday night and they’re back in seventh place with the idle Rangers eighth. 

The Eastern Standings are games Tuesday.

                              GP      Pts.                     Next Game

1st –Washington     80    105**  –                vs. FLA Wed; @FLA Saturday

2nd -Philadelphia    80    103**                   @BUF  Fri; vs.NYI Saturday

3rd – Boston              79     99**                     vs. NYI Wed; vs. OTT Saturday; @NJD Sunday

4th – Pittsburgh       80    102                      @NYI Friday; @ATL Sunday

5th – Tampa Bay      80      99                       vs. FLA Friday; @CAR Saturday

6th –  Canadiens  80   93                      @ OTT Thurs; @ TOR Saturday

7th –   Buffalo             80      92                      vs. PHA Friday; @CBJ Saturday

8th  – NY Rangers    80     91                       vs. ATL Thursday; vs. NJD Saturday

9th –  Carolina            79    87                        vs. DET Wed. @ATL Friday; vs. TBY Saturday

Eliminated – Toronto, Atlanta, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Ottawa and Florida.

The Corsi/Fenwick Numbers

Game Number Team Player Number Goals Saved shots Missed Shots Fenwick+/- Blocked Shots Corsi+/-
21187 MTL 11 – C – GOMEZ, SCOTT 0 1 7 11 8 5 -2 3 10 -9
21187 MTL 13 – L – CAMMALLERI, MICHAEL 1 0 11 11 6 5 2 5 3 4
21187 MTL 14 – C – PLEKANEC, TOMAS 1 0 9 9 6 4 3 5 1 7
21187 MTL 20 – D – WISNIEWSKI, JAMES 0 1 10 14 6 3 -2 5 10 -7
21187 MTL 21 – R – GIONTA, BRIAN 0 1 7 11 8 7 -4 3 10 -11
21187 MTL 22 – D – MARA, PAUL 1 0 7 6 6 5 3 1 5 -1
21187 MTL 31 – G – PRICE, CAREY 1 1 25 27 17 13 2 11 19 -6
21187 MTL 32 – L – MOEN, TRAVIS 0 0 2 7 1 1 -5 2 6 -9
21187 MTL 44 – D – HAMRLIK, ROMAN 0 1 10 15 5 5 -6 5 9 -10
21187 MTL 46 – L – KOSTITSYN, ANDREI 1 0 10 9 5 5 2 5 2 5
21187 MTL 52 – L – DARCHE, MATHIEU 0 1 5 6 3 4 -3 2 8 -9
21187 MTL 53 – C – WHITE, RYAN 0 0 5 0 2 0 7 1 1 7
21187 MTL 55 – D – SOPEL, BRENT 1 0 7 4 5 5 4 1 8 -3
21187 MTL 57 – L – POULIOT, BENOIT 0 0 4 5 4 2 1 1 4 -2
21187 MTL 58 – C – DESHARNAIS, DAVID 0 0 1 3 1 3 -4 0 4 -8
21187 MTL 75 – D – GILL, HAL 0 0 8 7 6 4 3 5 2 6
21187 MTL 76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K. 0 0 8 9 6 6 -1 5 5 -1
21187 MTL 81 – C – ELLER, LARS 0 0 8 4 2 0 6 3 3 6
21187 MTL 94 – C – PYATT, TOM 0 0 4 3 2 1 2 3