The Canadiens came from behind a 3-0 second period deficit to defeat the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in a shootout at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. It was the Canadiens first win in their exhibition season. Max Pacioretty scored twice and added one in the shootout to lead the Canadiens. Erik Cole scored the game-tieing goal with 37 seconds remaining in regulation time. Cole also scored the difference maker in the shootout. The teams will meet again Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
Adding It Up –
An unreal performance from Max Pacioretty. When the Senators scored their third goal the Canadiens looked dead in the water. Pacioretty’s first goal (on a power play) came just over a minute after the Senators took their 3-0 lead. Five minutes later he made it 3-2 on another power play. At the end of the night he had two goals, 9 shots on goal, hit a goalpost and a crossbar and, obviously, was the game’s first star.
Scott Gomez centred Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher. The line totaled 19 shots on goal. Gomez who has in the past been criticized for not shooting often enough, to six in this game. Gomez won the faceoff and drew the assist, his second of the game, in the play that tied the game. It’s only exhibition hockey but he has to feel very good about what he accomplished.
At this point Brendan Gallagher is, with all due respect to Nathan Beaulieu, the rookie of the camp. He didn’t get a point in this game but he was not the least intimidated by the fact that he was playing with a couple of veterans. He is destined to go back to the Vancouver Giants of the WHL in the next week or so, but……..
I liked Gabriel Dumont in this game. Centering Alexander Avtsin and Mathieu Darche, he put in a hard working game. Seemed to be in everyone’s face all night. His problem remains point production which probably is a confidence situation.
On defense, Alexei Yemelin put in a stready workmanlike job. Raphael Diaz and Jarred Tinordi had a shaky start, but were effective and very much involved in the second half of the game. Tinordi also was involved in a pretty good scrap with Ottawa’s Zack Smwith late in the second period.
Andreas Engqvist continues to hold Jacques Martin’s attention. In the final five minutes of regulation time, Martin went basically with two lines, Gomez/Pacioretty/Gallagher and Engqvist/Kostitsyn and Cole. There doesn’t seem to be much of an offensive component to Engqvist’s game, but the Canadiens coaching staff seems to trust him.
Goaltender Nathan Lawson will be Hamilton’s number one goaltender which means he’ll, in effect be the Canadiens number three behind Carey Price and Peter Budaj. Lawson’s two line pass that sent Pacioretty away on a breakaway for his second goal, was a sight to behold.
Carey Price, on the other hand, appears to be lackadaisical when it comes to exhibition hockey. He let in three goals on 18 shots. I think we can expect he’ll have things together by the season opener.
On the down side – Not a great night for forward Brock Trotter. He turned over the puck at his own blueline leading to the Senators third goal and didn’t seemed to be as involved as you might expect from a rookie looking for a place in the NHL.