Liveblog: Game 72 – Canadiens win a nailbiter on Plekanec goal

MaxCelebrate

Great game

It was important to both teams, and the Canadiens and Leafs rose to the occasion.

Max Pacioretty and Rene Bourque staked the Canadiens to a 2-0 lead early in the first period.

Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak tied it up, but Brian Gionta beat James Reimer with 53 seconds left in the period.

After a scoreless second period, Nazem Kadri scored on a power play to make it 3-3 before Tomas Plekanec, who was in the pnalty box for Kadri's goal, bagged the winner.

Shots were 36-36.

The win moved the Canadiens five points ahead of Toronto in Atlantic Division standings.

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Pleks atones

Tomas Plekanec was in the penalty box when Nazem Kadri completed a neat passing play to tie the game at 3-3.

Then on a Canadiens power play, Plekanec converted Andrei Markov's feed for the winning goal.

It was his first in 23 games.

 

CH survives surge

Toronto outshot the Canadiens 13-8 ... and that doesn't include the posts clanked by Jake Gardiner and Morgan Reilly.

Should be a terrific third period.

Last shot wins

The Canadiens grabbed an early lead on Max Pacioretty's 31st goal and RENE BOURQUE's ninth.

A Joffrey Lupul one-timer gave the Leafs life, and Tyler Bozak tied it.

The deadlock lasted 64 seconds.

With less than a minute left in the period, some yeoman board work by BOURQUE and Daniel Briere popped the puck loose to Brian Gionta, who scored his 15th.

Canadiens outshot Toronto 14-13.

Your basic big one

Your Montreal Canadiens hook up with the Leafs in a classic four-pointer at the ACC.

The Canadiens are third in the Atlantic Division, three points ahead of the Leafs, who hold a wild-card playoff spot. The race tightened when Detroit won on Saturday afternoon.

This is the last of five meetings between the Highway 401 rivals.

The Canadiens have won two of the three games played at the Bell Centre, while the Leafs won the teams' Jan. 18 game at the ACC.

Key lineup move: Alex Galchenyuk will centre the Canadiens' third line, with Brian Gionta and Rene Bourque on his wings. This is the kid's chance to shine in an important game.

Puck drops 7:10ish, after the Hockey Night in Canada studio crew are finished waving their blue and white pom-poms.

Check back later for some bleu-blanc-rouge live blogging.

 

1,638 Comments

  1. the habinator says:

    Why do people think sports net will be any better than cbc. If you watch their highlights it is all leafs.

  2. nek25plus says:

    Too true habspooch!

  3. nek25plus says:

    We won, but not a great win. There is no way Boullion should have that many minutes. Briere, although once great is sad and it should be suggested that he voluntarily retire. Coaching really is an issue. Even tho we won, many mistakes are constantly made. No way Tinordi should be out. He erred the other night, but a good coach would have put him right back in. This team needs an overhaul – in coaches. And maybe even in admin if they don’t recognize that times have changed on how you deal with young players. Listening to Patrick Roy this week should be an indication.

  4. fastfreddy says:

    @HabsPooch, you sir are correct, on all points regarding the D pairings. AWFULL! That’s a coaching problem !

    CH = Les Glorieux!!!

  5. Da Hema says:

    C’mon Mike — where the hell is ALN? I’m trying to win the ALN first-post prize!

  6. ti-guy says:

    It was a usual strong game for Phanoof, playing real physical against the bigger guys like DD, he’s such a loser for 7 mill /year and it’s a sin to be that ugly…

  7. Timo says:

    Any info on Eller’s injury?

    • ooder says:

      lower body. not much known other than that.
      but honestly i am so unimpressed by him. makes teh same mistakes game in and game out

      • Da Hema says:

        I am not inclined to say this, especially since he seems such a personable young guy, and because he was injured (and I hope he recovers soon), but he makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to the fate of this current team.

        • HabFan in Edmonton says:

          I was excited about Eller after his great start. Don’t know what happened. I am not ready to give up on him. He has size and skill and can skate. Not sure about his hockey sense sometimes.

  8. Timo says:

    So, did Franky Boo hit the 30 minute mark tonight?

  9. Psycho29 says:

    Reimer’s wife being harassed on Twitter tonight. Pretty sad actually:

    http://t.co/vLgm1dzx2g

  10. HabFan in Edmonton says:

    It’s starting to look like Montreal just could be the only Canadian team in the playoffs. Leaf fans could be forced to watch the Habs on CBC.

  11. HabsPooch says:

    Someone earlier today asked how much scalped tickets would cost for tonight’s game. Just to give you guys an idea, I was sittiing in the 300 level and a couple next to me paid $600 for a pair…Leaf fans that didn’t enjoy the outcome. I could imagine what seats closer to the ice wold have cost…

  12. Psycho29 says:

    Great win, watched it on RDS at a friend’s house. I just read a bunch of tweets about HNIC talking only about Bolland during the Hot Stove? And Healy almost in tears?

    Did Timo come by? Just wonder how his prediction that the Habs were going to be brutalized physically and lose turned out???

  13. HabsPooch says:

    Just came back from the game…and how sweet it was! However I need to comment on the defense.
    They are not going to last in the playoffs if things remain the same. Beaulieu has to be brought up for some possession time.
    Murray and Weaver were atrocious out there together. Don’t understand that pairing? Markov and Emelin cannot play together. There’s a reason why even the Russian team had them seperated. As bad as Emelin has been playing, to put him on his wrong side has made matters worse for him. I counted three times when he couldn’t clear the puck because he was on his backhand along the half-wall and didn’t have enough strength to clear the zone. For goodness sakes, help him out. I wouldn’t mind putting Emelin and Subban together.
    Bouillon was steady back there but for a number seven defenceman to be logging those type of minutes and on the first pairing is unreal.
    At this point I cannot say not having Beaulieu and Tinordi in the lineup would be any worse than what we have now.

    • Da Hema says:

      I concur. And Bouillion, Weaver, and Murray may not even be with this team next year. I would vastly prefer to see some of the Habs’s younger defencemen learn how to play in pressure games. What’s the old saying, “the strongest metals are forged from the most intense heat?”

    • CJ says:

      Great to have the first hand feedback. Validates what we saw on television. Emelin and Markov are a mess together. Something’s gotta give.

      Out of curiosity, how many Habs fans would you estimate were at the game? 5,000 / 25%?

      • HabFan in Edmonton says:

        I agree, Emelin is not looking good. I think they gave him too much money too soon after his injury. They should have waited a bit. The Habs defense will have to play much better to have any chance in the playoffs or Carey Price will have to stand on his head.

        • CJ says:

          Agreed on all points. Truth be told I thought it was a fair deal. Based on his play last season up to the injury, he was certainly worth that extension. This season, if not for the deal and having returned from a major injury, I’m sure he would be in the pressbox. He’s been, consistently, our worst defenceman since January.

          • Da Hema says:

            It’s shocking to see the decline in his play. From an outside perspective, it’s impossible to tell what accounts for this. Perhaps his contract led him to believe he can just go through the motions, or his injury was even worse than anyone could have imagined — or maybe a combination of both. But if he’s not physical, he’s more or less useless.

          • HabFan in Edmonton says:

            Without the injury it was probably a fair deal.

      • HabsPooch says:

        I usually go to one game a year and have to say this was the first time I felt drowned out by Leaf fans. Typically it’s a 60-40 split but tonight it felt more like 75-25 for the Blue and White. What irks me is when with less than five minutes to go fans start hitting the exits. Very annoying having to get up and letting passerbys through when the game is tight and the outcome far from decided…

  14. wutanged says:

    Only 2 penalties! Looks like MT fixed that problem after the Columbus game.

  15. Storman says:

    Cammy sure can finish those one timers

  16. Da Hema says:

    Wow. 1600 comments gets Booner a super-duper deluxe Vapor Bong!

  17. scamorza says:

    Just watching 24 on RDS … Didn’t realize is it Sherban? Sherman’s avatar that is the Kladno emblem?

    come to Dorion suits where you get no….”hassoles” _ Yvon Lambert

  18. CJ says:

    Of course I’d never wish an injury on any player, but our depth provides insurance. Weise was able to step in for Prust, while Bournival can replace Eller if needed. It could be argued that we might even be better.

    Although I may not agree with some of the personnel decisions, the team is leaps and bounds better this season than where they were last year at this same time.

    I think the progression will continue as we build going forward. Yes, it’s true I think playing Murray, Weaver, Bouillion and Emelin at the same time is kinda like hitting while standing on 19 in Blackjack, but thus far we haven’t gone bust.

    So I guess the whole Chucky at centre thing was smoke and mirrors. Not sure I understand the gamesmanship, but hard to critique following a win. Nice to see Pleks get one. 24 games is an awful long time to carry a single goal, so hopefully this gets him rolling.

    Nice to carry momentum into Boston. Hopefully we catch them napping following their extended road trip. Shipping off to Boston…..

    Night all. Cheers, CJ

  19. Cal says:

    And so spaketh The Lord,
    “After 1967 in Hogtown thy leafs shall fall in the Spring.”
    So spaketh The Lord
    So shall it be.
    For those of you that read this far that’ll cost ya 10 Hail Caryles. ;)


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