Liveblog: Canadiens romp to 6-2 win over Florida, clinch playoff berth

Less than four minutes into the third period, Alexander Radulov fed Max Pacioretty for the Captain’s 35th of the season, making it 4-1 and sealing the deal for the Canadiens.

Pointe Claire homeboy Mike Matheson scored to make it briefly interesting, but Gallagher’s 10th and a late Phillip Danault goal – off an exquisite Radulov feed – sealed the deal.

The Canadiens killed almost a full two-minute 5-on-3 power play in the second period, denying Florida a chance to get back into the game.

But two minutes later, Reilly Smith beat Carey Price with a rocket to make it 3-1.

Paul Byron converted a lovely Nathan Beaulieu feed to get the Canadiens on the board, 7:24 into the game, beating Reto Berra for his astonishing 21st of the season.

Less than three minutes later, Tomas Plekanec … of all people! … converted a lovely Brendan Gallagher feed to make it 2-0. It was Pleks’s ninth.

A shade over three minutes later, Byron got his second of the period, converting another sweet Beaulieu feed.

Shots were 32-31 for the winning team.

294 Comments

  1. Chipg says:

    Only saw the first period but wow, the forechecking was awsome

  2. Cal says:

    Nice to see the Habs treat a 3rd string goalie exactly like one, and not the 2nd coming of Brodeur. Gallant fans have their wish; Florida is done like dirt. T-Bay still keeping it interesting for the Bruins.
    Those celebrating being 1st in the division crown should remember the Habs would be 5th best over in the Metro division. Still, they are in and anything can happen, right?
    For a little fun, here’s the Habs record versus the Metro division playoff teams: 12GP- 6W- 5L-1OTL. Versus Atl division playoff teams: 13GP 9W 2L 2-OTL. The “catch” in the Metro division is 3 wins over the Rangers which is half the total. The “catch” in the Atl is 4 wins over Toronto.
    Against the Western playoff teams (not that this matters this year, but what the heck, anything can happen):
    Central: 8GP, 2W, 5L, 1 OTL
    Pacific: 8GP, 3W, 4L, 1 OTL.
    Source: http://canadiens.ice.nhl.com/club/teamvsteam.htm

  3. HabinBurlington says:

    Interesting to see if rotation changes a bit now for Habs for giving each of the vets a night off.

  4. D Mex says:

    Islanders lose 6-3 to Flyers / Halak : 3 goals on 8 shots.
    Future Hab John Tavares can’t be enjoying this much …

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Greiss started the game but nOne of the Islanders showed up in first period.

      Agree on J.T. , really can’t see why he would sign up for more punishment in Brooklyn.

    • oldguy10 says:

      Sure hope you are right – Tavares would be the one guy to fill the biggest hole – an elite #1 centre – he looks disinterested in Brooklyn after the Isles pulled the rug out from under him last season.

  5. Arnou Ruelle says:

    Anybody here thinks CJ should be in the mix for the Jack Adams Trophy? I think the best candidates are Babcock, Tortorella, and Julien. Can’t see anybody else who did the best coaching this season other than those 3.

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    Nice win from the boys and some scoring from Gallagher and Plex is exactly what the doctor ordered.

    Seems I can only get on site with my iPad, anyone else struggling to get on site past few days?

  7. D Mex says:

    Anyone not listening to Julien’s post-game comments on RDS or TSN690 is missing something. Huge insights – into not only his coaching philosophies, but also his interpersonal approach with the players.
    He most definitely sounds like a man who was briefed on what was going on when he arrived, and did his share of listening before starting to put his stamp on things.
    I would say he has developed nicely in the job. Very interesting.

  8. CJinBK says:

    Never in doubt. The season, that is. Well, actually, there WAS a time when it really was in doubt. January and February were not kind to the Canadiens or their fanbase. Then on Valentine’s Day, our truest love, Marc Bergevin, sent Michel Therrien packing and brought in our new sweetheart, Claude Julien. Everyone exhaled. The Canadiens started playing well again. Carey Price started playing REALLY well again. Therrien’s Blend-o-Line-o-Rator™ was a thing of the past, replaced by Julien’s patented In-Game-Adjustment®. And now the Canadiens are definitely playing in the post-season, and look like a pretty safe bet for 1st in the Atlantic Division.

    Tonight’s game? Another spectacular success story. 6 fabulous goals for the good guys, including 4 for line 2b. (The Habs have a first line, then 2 second lines, and a fourth line.) Plekanec flanked by Byron and Gallagher have comprised the best line of Julien’s tenure, and are proof of the coach’s smarts, putting them together. Great to see Gallagher with a career night. 4 points for the hardest working man in Montreal. (At the final buzzer Byron grabbed the game puck and flipped it to Pacioretty; no doubt it’s headed for Gallagher’s mantle.)

    The fourth line… They’re not going to score much — if at all. Or maybe ever — but they are going to wear down other teams with their size, and yes, grit. There was a point in the 3rd when Ott, King, and Martinesen were all on the puck in the offensive zone like peewee soccer, but no harm was done.

    Also in the 3rd, play was whistled down after Martinsen played the puck was with a high stick. It looked like Julien was giving the refs a hard time over the call, but the players on the bench were smiling and laughing. Julien was having fun, keeping things light. It’s nice to see a smile on the face of the coach instead of a scowl.

  9. Arnou Ruelle says:

    I can see Saturday will be another big game. If Stamkos does come back, I don’t think he’ll be in his flashy self. It would also be a good measuring stick for the Habs and test whether they’re playoff ready. I can’t wait for that game vs. the Lightning.

  10. ToeFluff says:

    Check out the shirt on AntiChambre!
    Lol. The Preds third period was God awful. Way to go PK.

  11. Arnou Ruelle says:

    Congratulations to our Habs on a job well done this regular season. It was tough, but at least they now have a playoff berth. Now they can breath a little and let some of their players rest before round 1.

  12. Chuck says:

    Subban with a huge giveaway to give the Leafs the empty net goal.

    Speaking of the Leafs… 2 more powerplay goals tonight. Their powerplay plus their 15 loser points are the only reason they’ve even been close to a playoff position.

  13. HamiltonHabs says:

    Subban is useless!! Not on the power play, gives the puck away, come on the Habs would be in last again with him on their team… Weber steady, calming, Carey is happy he has a defense man he can count on!

  14. Goldenchild says:

    Awesome! We got this!!!!

  15. Danno says:

    Turds lose. Habs lead on 1st place is now six points

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  16. Coach K says:

    Here’s what I think is going on with Galchenyuk and his line.

    I’m guessing Galchenyuk’s been told that, “I want you to demonstrate to me that you know how to play away from the puck.” So he gets put on the wing with Shaw to babysit him and Lehkonen who has probably been told exactly the same thing.

    The problem is that Lehkonen runs around in his own end and Galchenyuk is still covering the place between the circles as though he were a centre.

    To compound the problem (and for whatever reason) Shaw is really struggling to handle the puck cleanly whether he’s receiving or making passes. A number of pucks that go to his stick just die there and become turnovers.

    As I see it, that confusion leads to breakdowns at both ends of the ice and explains their lack of production.

    -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
    (James Lane Allen)

    • on2ndthought says:

      You misread that play, coach. 1st: Shaw digs into the corner, so Lehk takes the middle (but so does Chuck, instead of settling onto his side).

      Then, a D gets hold of the puck and clears it to Chuck, who; instead of being ready to pick it up on his forehand (from his side) , tries to pick it up on his backhand (because he’s skating around in the middle), and ends up knocking the puck so it stays in our zone.

      The Fla D picks it off, and it’s in the net. If Chuck had just left the puck alone, it would have been out. Blaming Lehk or Beau on that play is missing what is going on.

      All this takes place between 11:38 and 11:22 on the clock.

      • Coach K says:

        There’s some truth to what you saw but still, there was no reason for Lehkonen to come all the way across and try to cover what was Galchenyuk’s point position. He needs to play his position only instead of trying to do two jobs. That way the coach only has to fix one problem, Galchenyuk’s positioning. With Lehkonen running around, he has to correct two problems.

        I also think that part of Julien’s defensive zone coverage is for the weak side winger to collapse in toward the middle and clog up the slot. Galchenyuk does this but sometimes he collapses in too deep toward the middle leaving the point shot wide open. That’s likely what happened here when he couldn’t get to that pass you spoke of.

        It may also be though, that Julien is ok with that and is willing to concede that point shot if that weak side winger protects the middle; with the rationale that the goalie should be able to stop a shot from that far out.

        Good discussion, I guess we just see different things.

        -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
        (James Lane Allen)

  17. Chuck says:

    Leafs winning again…

  18. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Nice win and a good game. I loved the 4th line all night tonight with King, Martinsen & Ott.

  19. Danno says:

    Sens losing 5-1 now

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  20. on2ndthought says:

    We’re in!

    Carolina and Tampa Bay in the thick of it. Isles fading away.

  21. HabsProf says:

    Pure fantasy, I know, but….
    I dream of Montreal beating Calgary in the game 7 overtime – with Byron scoring the OT winner.
    The gnashing of teeth in Cowtown would be heard all the way in Montreal.
    _____________________________________

    They brought their f____ing toys with them!

    • dwrozeboom says:

      That would be great. I would love to see Ott dealing with Tkachuk.
      Mantha is out with a broken finger. In the video it looks like he doesn’t throw any punches, just hanging on to the TB player and eventually backing him into the boards.

    • sakuknows says:

      Though I was just a kid in 89, living in Calgary as a habs fan, I say please NOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

  22. Danno says:

    Ottawa will play Boston as things stand now…

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  23. Three Stars as per Bell Center PA Michel Lacroix

    3rd Star Nathan Beaulieu
    2nd Star Paul Byron
    1st Star Brendan Gallagher

    #PlayoffsTheEnd

    Shane Oliver
    Sholi2000.com
    @sholi2000
    Shane&Son Dec 2016
    Future Link to the 2017 10th Anniversary Summit Game

  24. Max says:

    Nice win…on another note,what’s up with Carly Agros’s shoulders? Is she a quarterback or something?Those things are wide!

  25. idle says:

    Lindgren starts next game?

  26. DDPKS says:

    Nice win by the Habs against a team who’s had their number. Yay for Byron & Gallagher.

    I agree with the poster who questions Lehkonen’s defensive ability. I like him as a player so far but on a team of mostly pluses, Lehkonen is what -4, worse than Galchenyuk and Emeline, neither of whom most people think are much good defensively.


    DDPKS: An embrace that can never be broken.

    “I have a reason that I can’t really tell you why, but if I could, you would probably understand.” – The CH approved explanation that school-aged Habs fans can now use to explain poor grades.

  27. kalevine says:

    Minny up by 3 over Ottawa with 9 mins left. Habs 6 points up! I can’t see Bruins or Leafs ceding playoff spot at this point, not with Bruins playing these panthers next

  28. boing007 says:

    Gallagrrrrrrr!

    Richard R

  29. Chuck says:

    Playoffs, baby!
    Nice touch with the Captain giving Michel Lacroix the game puck, too.

  30. HabsfanlostinTO says:

    Playoffs baby! here we come!

    ______________________________________________

  31. Butterface says:

    6 goals on the Panthers netminder…. that’s emBERRAssing

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

  32. Coach K says:

    Playoffs clinched!! Now let’s give a few deserving vets a bit of a rest going forward, bring up a few kids and see what they can do.

    -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
    (James Lane Allen)

  33. bellcentre hotdog says:

    Our team played really well tonight. The passing was just excellent.

  34. Danno says:

    PLAYOFFS BABY!!!

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  35. StevieM61 says:

    Mavid’s fave badger gets 4 points or 5 points?

    Bullet holes in my mirrors . . . .

    • Mavid says:

      Yessss..and third star goes to the guy who forgot to show up and play..Plex…turds losing 4 to 1 playoff’s clinched with a good ass whopping..all and all a good night

      º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

      Weed Wacker -and now Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

  36. johnnylarue says:

    That pass was ridiculous. Looking the other way, backhand through two D, tape to tape? Jeebus!

    Nice to have a feel-good game as a playoff ticket puncher.

  37. Duffy says:

    Three stars, Gallagher, Byron, Radulov,

    • Mavid says:

      they had mr turtleneck as one

      º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

      Weed Wacker -and now Flamethrower Grandma Smurf

  38. Caesar says:

    Ya Gallagher is really bad hit his ceiling is regressing not that good to begin with. Or just had a long recovery from injury. Where the Gally haters???

  39. Butterface says:

    6 goals… wow…

    We’ve scored 10 vs Colorado, 7 vs Winterpeg, 6 vs the Laughs and now this 6 goal night….

    I hope we don’t run out of goals before the playoffs start. Save some for the post season boys !!

    ***********************
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..
    ***********************

  40. Chuck says:

    So are they going to give Gally that goal or what?

  41. kalevine says:

    Three stars 1 Gallagher 2 Radulov 3 Byron

    Nice to not have had to depend on price for the W

  42. Captain_Alex says:

    6-2 yah habs win! I have school tomorrow good night everyone! We re going to win the Stanley Cup ! Win for my cat Fritz who died

  43. Coach K says:

    Nice to see a little goal support for Price for a change.

    -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
    (James Lane Allen)

  44. Danno says:

    Turds now losing 4-1

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs


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