Liveblog: Game 31 – Canadiens win ugly for fifth in a row

EmelinBuff

There are no style points in hockey

The Canadiens stole one from the NHL's worst team.

Two goals – by Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk – within 23 seconds of the second period put the Canadiens up 3-1 and they hung on to win 3-2 – despite being outshot 25-19 in their own building.

They'll have to be better against the mighty Kings Tuesday night, but a win is a win ... and the Canadiens have strung together a season high five Ws in a row.

Brandon Prust, who was the game's First Star, opened the scoring and added an assist on the Plekanec goal.

Travis Moen had two assists.

Tyler Ennis and Zemgus Girgensons scored for the visitors, who frequently had the Canadiens running around their own end in abject confusion.

 

Too close

What a third period for P.K.

First he gets turned into a pretzel by Zemgus Girgensons, who beat carey Price for Buffalo's second goal.

But the pluggers gutted out a W.

Explosion!

It took only 19 seconds for Brandon Prust to pot the first goal of the game.

The Sabres equalized during a brutal defensive shift by the Tomas Plekanec line. Sustaines Sabres pressure produced an unstoppable shot by Tyler Ennis.

Then the Canadiens took control with two in 23 seconds: Plekanec's 11th, on a beautiful set-up by Prust, and Alex Galchenyuk's eighth, a one-timer off a perfect pass by Andrei Markov.

Sabres had a 12-11 shot advantage.

Better than Nytol

And not habit-forming.

Buffalo outshot the Canadiens 5-4 over 20 sleep-inducing minutes.

Liverpool had more than 20 shots today.

In soccer.

I'm just saying ...

We interrupt this string of challenging opponents to bring you ...

We interrupt this string of challenging opponents to bring you ...

The Buffalo Sabres.

Dead last in the NHL with a a goal differential, despite Ryan Miller, of minus-39 – which will be the temperature in Hell when this once-proud franchise is a Cup contender again.

Your Montreal Canadiens are 8-1-1 in their last 10. They are coming off an emotional win over Boston Thursday night and will be looking  for a season-high fifth straight W.

All portents, then, point to a Sabres upset.

The visitors are not bereft of talent. There's Miller and, for now, Matt Moulson. The guy in the photo, Tyler Myers, has the tools to be a great defenceman.

But Buffalo, under new president of hockey operations Pat Lafontaine, is in full-on rebuild mode.

And it might take a while.

Puck drops 7:10ish.

Check back later for live game blogging.

759 Comments

  1. tab says:

    Did not see OJ Stock comment but sure sounds like he was talking instead of thinking first. Only suggestion could be us that most fights these says are all staged. Just go on slow mo on the PVR next time a fight breaks out and you will see 95% if not higher percentage of swings never make any contact. These guys are trained like WWF.

  2. billylove says:

    PJ is a frickin moron. Logic is a foreign concept to this clown.

  3. kalevine says:

    just watched the highlights…three beautiful goals by the Habs – tic tac toe. And very importantly, the 4th line played a huge role

  4. Billyboy says:

    What ever line you put Gally on, it does better. Whatever line you put Briere on it does worse. Pity poor Eller.

  5. frontenac1 says:

    Reports. Thornton to face in Person hearing for Orpik sucker punch.

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Give him life. He shouldn’t even be let into an NHL building as a fan. He should be going to prison for assault. When you’re an Ahole, you’re an Ahole and that is exactly what Thornton is. If it wasn’t for hockey he would be collecting for a cookie somewhere.

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Since the NHL has been sued for not really caring about head injuries it will be interesting to see if they do anything about this one. They should pay until it hurts and then pay some more; never in the history of labour has an employer shown such reckless indifference to employee safety. If the lawsuit doesn’t net one billion plus there is no justice in this world. Maybe if they have to pay, we will FINALLy get rid of that clown Bettman and his entourage of morons led by Colin Campbell and Brendan Shanahan.

  6. Billyboy says:

    Can you expound a little bit on the Eller asignment.

  7. Stevie.Ray says:

    CBC is still saying Subban won’t make the olympics.

  8. Seps says:

    Ok TSN highlights whenever Subban makes a simple mistake, I rarely see them do that for any other player in the league. That’s just a piss off, is that blatant racism, or blatantly hoping that he doesn’t play for Canada?

    • Steven says:

      I think we need to stop calling the racism card so much. Anson Carter and Grant Fuhr were both good players(not as good as Subban, per se, but still) and no one hated on them. I really doubt it’s racism. At worst, it’s hating on a rising star that wears the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge, which is actually fairly reasonable considering the stations we’re speaking of.

      What it probably really came from was Richards saying he’s disrespectful which just kind of stuck, same way as people say Subban is poor defensively and it sticks or how people say Price isn’t clutch in the playoffs(despite putting up good numbers there more than once) and that stuck. If it was a matter of racism, people would be all over Wayne Simmonds, too, and they’re not.

      • Seps says:

        Yeah but he’s the first superstar, there’s been good players but never a star. Not saying for sure it is, but it’s just curious.

        • Steven says:

          I understand that, and I’m sure in some it is racism, but I really feel like many who defend PK in this(So that last comment was not directed at you specifically so don’t take it that way) like to say that it’s a racism thing. I don’t buy it.

          Like Elgin said below, if he were a Leaf we probably would hear nothing bad about the guy. It’s probably just that he’s a Hab, Richards shot his remarks, and the CBC and TSN ate it up. By that point it just spread like wildfire.

      • NCRhabsfan says:

        Yes but PK is uppity. He talks back. He has an opinion. He doesn’t thank them for letting him play with the other boys. Of course we are talking about the worst officials in any sport in the history of sports, so it may just be sheer incompetence and not racism at all.

    • port elgin says:

      if PK played for the leafs you would never see the mistakes plus CBC would be blowing his Olympic horn

  9. Bill says:

    What happened: Orpik nailed Eriksson with a questionable hit: no head contact that I saw, but Eriksson never had the puck. Borderline. Definitely two minutes for interference. Then Thornton asked him to fight: Orpik said no. So then Thornton slew-foots Orpik, and punches him in the face twice while he is defenceless on the ice.

    PJ Stock: This would never happen if fighting were allowed in the NHL.

    Sorry, I can’t even begin to understand the PJ defenders on this one!

    • kalevine says:

      who’s a PJ defender

      • Bill says:

        A couple of really smart guys on this site, actually, were defending his view. Well … one of them actually rephrased what PJ said to make it sound way less stupid. It was a nice try. I’m not sure what motivated him to do that, except that he is one HIO’s better-known resident contrarians :)

        Full Breezer 4 Life

        • kalevine says:

          does he mean if fighting wasn’t penalized, or if everyone had to fight when asked? LOL!

          • Bill says:

            I have no idea what he meant. Vancouver Hab says he meant the instigator rule. Which if Thornton really wants it doesn’t mean squat. The instigator is basically never called.

            PJ said Orpik isn’t afraid to throw the hit because he won’t have to answer for it. And it wouldn’t have happened if fighting were allowed. I am trying to process both of those statements against reality and coming up empty.

            Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Stevie.Ray says:

      Right now Orpik and Neal are the most trending words on twitter. You would think it would be Thornton.

      What do you think of the Neal play? I thought it was an accident, but CBC had to find someone to blame.

      • Bill says:

        I think Neal saw his opportunity and drilled him on purpose. Lots of guys in the league just waiting for a chance to paste the rat. Dirty play on a dirtier player. That’s my view.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

    • DipsyDoodler says:

      In any other sport Thornton wouldn’t play again this season.

    • Dulljerk says:

      I think you missed a knee to the head of a player that was down, but when someone goes ballistic there will be a suspension.

      No eternal reward will forgive us for wasting the dawn.

  10. Danno says:

    l love this crazy bunch of beautiful bstards we call the Habs.

    ________________________________________

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

  11. BigB says:

    Is it me, or does it seem our beloved habs just can’t score empty netters?

    Habs forever!

  12. billylove says:

    Living in Shark territory, I watched Murray for many years. When his minutes are managed, Murray can be pretty solid especially because he is “respected” by opponents. San Jose pushed his minutes to the breaking point and Murray, who was a player rep, knows this exacted a physical toll. MT is managing Murray’s minutes very intelligently. Don’t be surprised if Murray get’s even better.

  13. Da Hema says:

    Ugly win, shmugly win. This isn’t figure skating where points are given for pretty. A win’s a win folks! Be happy!

  14. olegpetrov says:

    Well, my car got broken into but the Habs won. I guess I should look at the brighter things??

    Habs fan…Nuff said

  15. Bill says:

    Chuck: Elizabeth is actually even more annoying than PJ. Imagine if they mated.

  16. Ncognito says:

    December 2, 1995: Patrick Roy allows 9 goals before being pulled and promptly quits the Montreal Canadiens saying the coach was trying to humiliate him.
    December 5, 2013: Semyon Varlamov allows 8 goals and is left in the net by Patrick Roy.
    Priceless.

  17. Bill says:

    ScarboroHab: if Markov plays another four years, he will definitely pass Savard and probably Lapointe on the Habs all-time scoring list for defencemen.

    Savard’s number is retired, Lapointe’s is not. So it’s a tough call. Definitely depends on the next few years, and probably on whether or not the Habs can win a Cup. All the retired numbers are for players with a Cup ring. Different era, I know, but still.

  18. HabsLifer says:

    I’m worried about Markov’s knee injury tonight. Don’t be fooled by the fact he finished the game. I had a very similar injury almost 17 years ago. I played the rest of the game. I hobbled home and the next morning, my leg was so swollen I could not bend it at all. I was in a walking cast for 6 weeks, followed by arthroscopic surgery to repair ligaments. I hope that’s not the case. He is playing inspired hockey and his lost would vastly change the team’s chemistry.
    ———————————
    Claude Provost Rocked!

  19. Danno says:

    Somebody tried to correct me by saying Desharnais shaved his pornstache off but there it was in all its glory tonight on l’Anti-Chambre along with DD’s leprechaun pants and his checkered socks. Keep doing what you’re doing DD.

    ________________________________________

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

  20. frontenac1 says:

    Just got home. Glad Les Boys pulled it out. So Thornton suckers Orpik, but it was Neal who Kneed The Rat?

  21. JohnBellyful says:

    The Eleven Games to Christmas

    On the second of December, my fav team gave to me
    A home win over New Jersey

    On the fourth of December, my fav team gave to me
    A comeback shootout V, and
    A home win over New Jersey

    On the fifth of December, my fav team gave to me
    A rug made from a bruin
    A comeback shootout V, and
    A home win over New Jersey

    On the seventh of December, my fave team gave to me
    A sabre from the cellar
    A rug made from a bruin
    A comeback shootout V, and
    A home win over New Jersey

  22. Habilis says:

    Crazy but true: We’re tied with St. Louis and Pittsburgh in points. We are 2 points back of San Jose. We’re 4 back of league leading Chicago (!) and we actually have a better ROW than them. The Sharks have only played 29 games but the Hawks have played 31 like us.

    Pretty lofty heights. One hell of a run this team is on.

  23. FlyAngler says:

    Galley on the 2 Buffalo goals tonight- “P K fishing for the puck instead of taking the body.” Hard to watch P K make the exact same mistake in 2 consecutive periods of hockey. The second goal in particular was inexcusable and was NOT Price’s fault. Hopefully, it gets corrected and does not cost P K a chance to go to Sochi.

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

    • habcertain says:

      Do you really think that one bad play or game dictates who is in or out, you have that little faith in the guy

      • FlyAngler says:

        Unfortunately for P K, in the minds of some his defensive play is suspect at times and tonight will only add fuel to the fire. The penalty was terrible as well. I hope that he makes it, but it certainly is no secret that there has been something of a debate going on with regard to his making the cut for Sochi.

        “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  24. Chuck says:

    Just checked…. Thornton has never been suspended, so it allows the NHL to use the ‘Bruin/not a repeat offender’ out clause.
    _______________________
    Anything is possible.

  25. keviathan says:

    I feel bad for Sens fans, getting totally out-cheered in their own building. Is it always like this when they play TO?

  26. Vladdy Mondavi says:

    @scarboro_habitant – yes after he hoists Lord Stanley’s Cup

  27. Vladdy Mondavi says:

    Even looking beyond his goal, I thought Galchenyuk looked pretty darn good with Gionta and Pleky.

  28. Chuck says:

    Rooting for either Nottawa or the Laffs is the shootout is like trying to decide which of your sisters to kiss.

    _______________________
    Anything is possible.

  29. scarboro_habitant says:

    does/should montreal retire markovs #79?

  30. Stevie.Ray says:

    Montreal wins. Two points. They’re all important. Hope they can put together another dominant performance again like they did against Toronto next game.

  31. twilighthours says:

    Hmmm… Eller with 9 minutes of time.

    Only Hab forward with less was Briere (6:30, understandable as he kinda sucks)

    • Storman says:

      Briere 6 min, Eller missed an assignment Therrien gave him a lesson, but Briere is a regular no show,, have to find a way to get him off the team,, but i am afraid he is almost impossible to deal,

  32. Bill says:

    Nice summary Mondou.

  33. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    twonPOS = two POS

  34. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Effing OTT and effing TOR have gone to OT, which means at least 1 point for each of those twonPOS teams.

  35. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Is it a full moon? This crazy 5H!7 in BOS/PIT and reading the box score in the OTT/TOR game is insane! Head butting? Kicking? Spearing? Bunch of animals!

  36. Et le but says:

    Boys have earned a day off, if not 2.
    7 games in 11 nights, including 2 back to backs…13 of 14 points during that stretch

    It is understandable that they didn’t fill the net tonight isn’t it?

  37. danhabsfan says:

    I like Murry in the lineup. I appreciate Bullion for all he has done, but he makes us softer back there. I would be open to playing both Murrya nd Bullion, and sitting Diaz at some point.

  38. D Man says:

    I love the “Murray effect” No effen around in front of the goal after the whistle, None!

    You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

  39. Arnou Ruelle says:

    Good and gutsy win by our team.

    Just watched the clip at TSN on PIT vs. BOS game. Really bad for Thornton to sucker punch Orpik. No wonder why Prust had to fight this guy when he wants to chase after Eller and Galchenyuk.

    • Mondou6 says:

      This is how HNIC covered it (seriously):

      - Thornton is a great guy, and it’s too bad this happened to him.
      - Crosby should have been called for tripping.
      - This wasn’t a fight, and has nothing to do with fighting.
      - We’re in dangerous times, fighting is being threatened.
      - This wouldn’t happen if fighting were allowed in the NHL.
      - They hate to say this, but it was mostly Pittsburgh’s fault.
      - The instigator penalty is to blame for this.

  40. Chuck says:

    Y’know, Murray might be the only guy in the league who’s faster skating backward.

    _______________________
    Anything is possible.

  41. Et le but says:

    Ottawa and Toronto tied at 3-3

  42. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    Habs are now the #1 team in the east, right?

  43. Et le but says:

    1st in the conference?

  44. Et le but says:

    Markov’s reaction and body language on the play where he twisted his knee looked eerily similar to 2 other occasions.
    Happy for the win…hoping he is OK

  45. third generation haber says:

    I have no doubt that Neal targeted the head. I know it’s Marchand, but still….

    j.p. murray

  46. Danno says:

    Undefeated in December!

    I’d rather win ugly than lose beautifully.

    ________________________________________

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

  47. slapshot777 says:

    We have tied Pittsburgh for first overall in the conference

  48. twilighthours says:

    Chara wins it for Bos with seconds left in 3rd

  49. Mark C says:

    Just tied,the ‘Pens for most points in the conference yet some are still finding things to complain about. Yikes.

  50. third generation haber says:

    IMHO, brutal, grinding games like these, indicate how playoff ready we are. They also hint at who our “playoff players” are and aren’t. Me thinks, Price may be the only certainty.

    j.p. murray

  51. mrhabby says:

    Price asks markov if he is okay…marky looks like he said ok to price….
    Hope there is no issue.

  52. Bill says:

    Just for the record, the supposedly decapitated Marchand came back to play the rest of the game, and assisted on the winning goal.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  53. Samovich says:

    The tying goal analysis by Simpson of HNIC is sickening ! the Toronto bias stinks!

  54. Strummer says:

    Change of pace- KCTS is showing a Pink Floyd tribute band live at Red Rocks

    “Brit Floyd”
    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  55. Ring of Fire says:

    I’ll take it n move on …long season there not all going to b pretty

    The Thin Blue Line.

  56. icemachine says:

    Do the refs have no discretion on these calls? I realize that the Sabres guy was closest to the puck when it crossed the goal line, but there was no way he was going to catch it before Gio did coming down the other side.

  57. slapshot777 says:

    They stay in first place.

  58. Habilis says:

    Guts man, this team has em. Not an easy win tonight, but I chalk that up to fatigue more than anything else. Good stuff.

    • RAM_TOUGH says:

      No excuses. The Habs always play down to weak teams. Have don’t it for yrs.

      Guts-Glory-Ram

      • The Jackal says:

        That’s right, they have don’t it for years. They have not done it for years.
        It’s a myth. It’s a very tight league and any team can win on any given night. Sabres are desperate and have nothing to lose.
        Five in a row no matter how you slice it.

        ______________________
        Hockey sine stercore tauri.

  59. danhabsfan says:

    Not an Ottawa fan, but let’s go Sens, in regulation please

  60. Chuck says:

    You just KNEW that it would be that sort of game… a lot more difficult then it had to be.
    _______________________
    Anything is possible.

  61. Strummer says:

    Prust and Moen challenging for Molson Cup

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  62. Mavid says:

    and another win…keep on rollin

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  63. slapshot777 says:

    A win is a win. They’re all not going to be pretty. Bank the 2 points and move on.

  64. Arrow77 says:

    Well, another win in a really though trench. They deserve their time off.

  65. joeybarrie says:

    Boston steals it. Smash and grab

  66. twilighthours says:

    man that was some bad hockey

  67. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    And PK was no hell again.

  68. danhabsfan says:

    A win is a win, at the Laffs

  69. Bigdawg says:

    At least we won – Does not feel like a victory

    That was not a good game
    +
    The brutal mugging in the Pits-Bruins game
    =
    Not as much fun tonight

    The habs and the NHL still have work to do

  70. Rob Maguire says:

    Not pretty, but it’s a win. Night, y’all.

  71. Bill says:

    I can’t believe Prust didn’t go for the hat trick …

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  72. Danno says:

    Never in doubt!

    ________________________________________

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

  73. Et le but says:

    UGLY fuggly but I’ll take it…

  74. joeybarrie says:

    boston ties it up


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