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. Alex says:

    Is all this Olympics talk messing with PK??

  2. Mavid says:

    some nice passing by DD

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  3. 4loorplay says:

    PK was in lalaland

    Nirvana is earned…

  4. big_green_puffin says:

    Thats not a hockey fight! Sorry! That was all MMA! Rear takedown, climb on top,and ground and pound!

  5. Mondou6 says:

    Galley: “We have a ball game”. lol…I’ve honestly never heard anyone refer to hockey as a ball game.

  6. icemachine says:

    Just bad play in all zones

  7. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    2 goals against, so that’s it. Go Habs! Boost that differential.

  8. 4loorplay says:

    Nirvana is earned…

  9. Rob Maguire says:

    I think the shot has been miffed on every Habs 2-on-1 tonight.

  10. Mavid says:

    people should be calling CBC and complaining..PJ needs to be fired..un friggen believable

    Weed Wacker Grandma Smurf

  11. Storman says:

    PK that was ridiculously bad, play the man,, fffffffff that is frustrating to watch, make the simple play

  12. doogie says:

    I see a lot of value in having Whitey in the lineup. Good skater, mixes it up and has a solid face-off percentage.

    Sabres are physical, Habs are playing cute. Backfires every time.

  13. 4loorplay says:

    PK was in lala land

    Nirvana is earned…

  14. slapshot777 says:

    Pk gets in these stages of brain cramps

  15. Bill says:

    That is some pretty goal by Girgensons (sp?)

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  16. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Now that was on Price. Very weak goal!

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  17. Danno says:

    Play the body not the puck

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
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  18. Savardian Spin-o-rama says:

    pK wtf!!!!

  19. Da Hema says:

    PK! Wake up!

  20. The Teacher says:

    That’s A surprisingly bD goal given up by Carey. His positioning was off.

  21. Rob Maguire says:

    That was an epic clusterfudge.

  22. Samovich says:

    SUBBAN come one!!

  23. The Teacher says:

    Fourth line has kept the pick in the sabres end for much of their time on ice. Best game of the season by far Boone.

  24. Et le but says:

    If we get a PP this period, I’d love to see the 4th line.
    They have earned it

  25. Dave Jones says:

    You always hear what sound like very thoughtful arguments supporting fighting’s place in the game. And you hear them from some of the sport’s most respected people, including Gretzky and Orr. Their most important point seems to be that hockey, as a uniquely violent sport, requires a physical deterrent to police the game and keep the violence in check. But no one ever considers that, perhaps, hockey would not be a uniquely violent sport if fighting were removed as the game’s safety valve. Right now guys can and do run around and do dangerous and ugly things to each other–maybe because they know there is a built in corrective in the form of fighting, and that each team has its designated fighters. If that fighting is removed, obviously the league and refs will be given to far greater responsibility in keeping the game safe. But, maybe, the players will be too. Because they won’t have guys like Thornton or Parros to resolve the conflict in a fight. We say fighters are the game’s answer to agitators and rats like Cooke. But maybe the causation flows the other way, or maybe it is at least a more complex relationship. Maybe Cooke is the game’s answer to the spectacle of fighting.

  26. Danno says:

    I hate the Couche-Tard logo behind Price’s net for obvious reasons…

    ________________________________________

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  27. big_green_puffin says:

    What does PJ Stock care if people think he’s stupid, he’s losing his job! He’s just gonna say whatever he wants! It doesnt really matter now!

  28. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Wha no Miller?

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  29. slapshot777 says:

    PJ Stock what a douche. Thornton only gives Orpik little jabs. Thornton must really pack some punch in those little jabs. I wonder does he listen to himself talk at all. Let’s see how the League handles this situation. Gonna be an interesting couple of days. In the meantime I do think Neal will also get a suspension.
    Like I have been saying the officiating has been brutal all season. The officials are getting away with their poor judgements and lack luster penalty calls. The League has to make their officials accountable for their poor play. If that was a player he would be benched or getting very little ice time. Until the officials get suspensions for their poor officiating nothing will change. The League needs to implement some sort of tring for new officials coming into the League an if a veteran official falls below an acceptable grade during the season, then he should have to go to a summer camp to re-qualify to become a referee for the upcoming season.

    • VancouverHab says:

      Look, I think (and Cherry said) that what Thornton did was stupid & cowardly. But Stock is, you know, FACTUALLY CORRECT.

      “Punches” of that type and magnitude happen all game long game in and game out. Stock is CORRECT about that.

      Again, Stock, Cherry, (and me) say that the problem (and the discredit of Thornton) is the context and the Bertuzzi-type pull down from behind and hitting a defenseless opponent.

      Truth matters.

      • Dave Jones says:

        Stock did say the context was the bigger issue. But, of course it is. We know that already. If Orpik and Thornton square off in a fight, obviously much harder punches are part of the program. But, it is context that matters, or truth as you say. Shorter punches–though, let’s be clear, they were still violent punches, he wasn’t giving him a face wash–landed from above on an unsuspecting, defenseless player lying on the ice, is far more dangerous than the punches of a fight. In other words, PJ’s facts were arrayed not in the interest of truth but in the interest of distortion.

        And his argument also was more generally undermined by his very clear and forceful condemnation of Neal’s knee to Marchand, also a downed, unsuspecting player. He worked hard to place Thornton’s dirty use of violence in the context of broader league trends, and really seemed to wish away the horrific result (if only by largely omitting consideration for Orpik’s injury–he invoked the injury mostly to defend Thornton, interestingly). Meanwhile, the dirty use of violence by Neal could easily be condemned regardless of league trends. They both deserve enormous suspensions. Once that’s all been said, then we can discuss those broader trends–is the instigator rule the issue? Is fighting? How do we get this awful violence out of the game? Truth matters.

  30. The Teacher says:

    Oh PJ is usually the biggest idiot going but ….

  31. Danno says:

    What’s the strategy for the third period? Pedal-to-the-metal or JM hockey – or a combination thereof?

    ________________________________________

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

  32. The Teacher says:

    Neal was going pretty fast and knew Marchand head would get the brunt of the force.

    Both things were equally dirty.

    I saw the orpik hit of erikson once and it looked clean to me. It’s a hockey hit and the head was not targeted in my opinion.

    And yes. Sidney should have got a tripping penalty on Marchand.

    • FlyAngler says:

      In some ways, the Orpik hit was similar to the Gryba hit on Eller. Similar pass and similar contact and while only Orpik knows whether he targeted the head of Erikkson, there was contact between Orpik’s shoulder and Erikkson’s head.

      “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  33. Bigdawg says:

    PJ Stock on the Thorton’s mugging

    “I’ve played in leagues where there is fighting and leagues where there is is no fighting. This happens in leagues where this is no fighting”

    Hey poo poo stock -last time I checked the NHL is a league that has fighting.

    What a stupid comment!

  34. Danno says:

    The hit advantage stat can be deceiving. The team that always has the puck can’t hit anyone.

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    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  35. twilighthours says:

    I’m going to go off the board and predict that the NHL gets this one right. I think Thornton will get 25-30 games.

  36. The Teacher says:

    Neal definitely targeted marchands head with his knee. That’s pretty dirty even if I hate Marchand and I believe he deserves it more than most.

  37. dh says:

    PJ Stock. Waste of protoplasm.

  38. ABHabsfan says:

    You know those guys who sit in the penalty box in the sport coat taking notes when a guy gets a penalty? Why are those guys always about 97 years old? I could sit in the penalty box in a sport coat and take notes and I could do it for the next 50 years. Who do I call for that gig?

  39. FlyAngler says:

    Wow Stock basically said that Neal’s knee on Marchand was worse than Thornton punching Orpik in the head while he was down- what a crock of shiola!

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”

  40. JUST ME says:

    Just saw the Thornton-Orpik incident. It would solve so many problems if the NHL had the balls to throw the book at Thotnton or any player regardless of his status and his past . This has no place in professional sports.

  41. The Teacher says:

    Hate the say it but. Pj stock is singin the right tune in this case. Sorry Boone.

  42. Dave Jones says:

    Sickening/frightening level of victim blaming going on on CBC panel right now in regards to Thornton/Orpik incident. “Orpik is thinking he should have fought Thornton…” ” Those were little punches” “The ref should have called the penalty on Sidney”…

    This is actually madness. I can understand empathizing with Thornton, obviously he’s not trying to put Orpik in a stretcher. But that’s about as far as you can go. He is directly and completely responsible for the injury.

  43. sirs81 says:

    Lol for a moment I thought Cassy was going to jump on PJ and start hitting him lol

  44. HabSgt says:

    PJ Stock is so stupid he is making Cassie Campbell & Kevin Weekes stupid through proximity.

    Ron McLean’s already used to it…

    Life is hard. Life is harder when you’re stupid.

  45. Stevie.Ray says:

    Neal wasn’t even looking at Marchand on the ice.

  46. Et le but says:

    Does anyone have access to the Habs record with and without Emelin in the lineup?
    The impact he has on this team is other-worldly…

  47. big_green_puffin says:

    If the NHL is going to gain any respect and credibility, Thornton gets 20 games for intentionally injuring another player, intentionally targeting the head after intentionally putting said player in a vulnerable position! Its all about intent! Thornton for 20games! Enough is enough

    • Mondou6 says:

      A league that celebrates bare knuckle fighting has no respect or credibility to start with.

      Football is 100 times more violent than hockey, and there are zero fights in the NFL. No one seems to mind. But somehow doing away with fights in hockey is an affront to nature.

      It will go eventually, and the league will be much better. But not on Bettman’s watch.

  48. Castor says:

    Is PK hurt or sick? Something’s up

  49. Danno says:

    Even in slo mo Galchenyuk’s shot looks like it’s going 200 mph

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  50. munch17 says:

    4th line looks great.
    Anyone know why Eller is in the doghouse?

    • Dave Jones says:

      Not sure. He seems to be the centre getting the rotating-winger treatment. Kind of underscores that we’re one top 6/top 9 scoring winger away from being ready for a Cup run. Briere, Gionta, Bournival, Bourque–they can all play, but they aren’t impact players.

  51. jols101 says:

    I can’t get on NHL.com, who is winning Leafs/Sens and Pens/Bruins?

  52. Dave Jones says:

    Emelin is really standing out tonight. Seems to be jumping up into the offense a little more. We know he can do that.

  53. icemachine says:

    Think I’m glad that I didn’t get home ’til halfway through the 2nd

  54. The Teacher says:

    It’s obvious his teammates love emelin. The rare time he goes up ice and gets caught up ice, there is a plethora of Habs players hanging back to cover for him.

    This time it was funny because when he got back he looked really confused and didn’t know what to do.

  55. Strummer says:

    7th game in 11 nights- bound to be a combination of fatigue, over-confidence, complacency setting in

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

  56. Dave Jones says:

    It has seemed since we’ve had Prust that we haven’t been sure where to use him to get him enough quality minutes. Can’t draw conclusions on one’s night work, but maybe putting him at centre between Moen and White and really be able to roll four lines is the best way to do it. I’d put that trio up against any fourth line in the league.

  57. Mondou6 says:

    Jinx be damned…

    #1 star – Prust
    #2 and #3 – Price and ???

  58. Habbu says:

    Love the way Chucky gives credit to his teammate that passed him the puck

  59. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Atta boys Chucky, Pleks & Prust!

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  60. yeg hab fan says:

    anyone could of scored that off that pass from marky

  61. SportsFan31 says:

    Go Habs Go! :D

  62. 4loorplay says:

    Boom Boom Bang Bang you’re dead
    Nirvana is earned…

  63. Strummer says:

    Did the sleeping potion the Sabres slipped in the Hab water bottles finally wear off?

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

  64. Rob Maguire says:

    Well that changed fast.

  65. Habbu says:

    Thornton = Bertuzzi?

  66. StevieM61 says:

    and then a hockey game broke out…..

    Bullet holes in my mirrors . . . .

  67. Strummer says:

    Brandon Prust “Hey Boone – look no hands”

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

  68. SKHab says:

    Tic tac goal!

  69. Mondou6 says:

    Prust doing his Gretzky impression, setting up behind the net.

  70. Mark C says:

    Is it too much to ask that Prust avoid the Gordie Howe hat trick tonight?

  71. RAM_TOUGH says:

    Now boys get the pickle out of your arses & add the to scroe & not sit back!

    Guts-Glory-Ram

  72. Samovich says:

    what in the name of team Canada was price thinking?

  73. twilighthours says:

    Where is HabsFanSinceDipsyDoodle? He called out Prust earlier, and #8 is looking like #87 tonight.

  74. danhabsfan says:

    The 4th line has been our best line tonight..

  75. FlyAngler says:

    C’mon Boone, talk more Trash about Prust, we need a few more goals!

    “Elever le flambeau!…Raise the Torch!”


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