Liveblog: Game 74 – Canadiens win ugly

WeaverBuff

Big W

Each win moves the Canadiens closer to clinching a playoff spot.

This one didn't come easy.

Buffalo goaltender Matt Hackett was spectacular under a 35-shot bombardment, and it was almost 12 minutes into the third period when the Canadiens finally solved him.

Max Pacioretty scored his 32nd of the season and 100th of his career off a feed from Thomas Vanek.

Daniel Brière added an insurance goal on a Canadiens power play.

Carey Price made 24 saves for his fifth shutout of the season.

 

Max scores 100th

Max Pacioretty got the winner with his 32nd of the season and 100th of his career.

Daniel Brière added a power-play goal.

Canadiens outshot the Sabres 35-24.

Carey Price's shutout earned him the First Star.

PP sputters

Of the Canadiens' 12 shots in the second period, none were recorded during a four-minute power play.

They'll be on the PP again to start the third.

The Sabres had five SoG.

 

Quiet start

The excitement level must have been seized at Customs when the Canadiens returned from Boston.

Shots were 11-10 Buffalo.

Carey Price made good stops on Matt D'Agostini and Torrey Mitchell.

The new fourth line – Lars Eller, Michäel Bournival and Ryan White – was the Canadiens' best.

Trap game?

Less than 24 hours after an emotional win in Boston, the Canadiens return to the Bell Cntre to face the worst team in the NHL.

How bad are the Buffalo Sabres?

They have 11 fewer points than the Edmonton Oilers.

That's bad.

Their goal differential is a league-worst minus-72.

That's really bad.

The Sabres have won a league-low eight road games this season.

That's beyond bad.

The Canadiens will be going for a season sweep of their four games against Buffalo.

Why, apart from pathological pessimism, do I have the sneaking suspicion this will not be an easy W?

Lars Eller and Ryan White are in for the injured Travis Moen and Dale Weise. Jarred Tinordi draws in for Frankie Boo.

Puck drops 7:40ish.

Check back later for pessimistic live game blogging.

1,206 Comments

  1. Monahab says:

    That no.1 line is magic!

  2. NLhabsfan says:

    What is CBC to do with Montreal being the only Canadian team in the playoffs :)

  3. NLhabsfan says:

    4 -2 wings

  4. NLhabsfan says:

    Remember when the leafs were ahead of a Montreal in the standings.. It’s been a while since I enjoyed the leafs losing so much.

  5. Lafleurguy says:

    So, under the new re-alignment rules, Division Second-place team will face Division Third-place team in the first round. Time to analyze Ben Bishop’s weaknesses.

    • Marc10 says:

      Yeah. That’s looking like a lock if we win a couple more. It’s not a terrible match up. They just roll four lines who skate like hell and are well coached. Malone will try to do his usual antics. Otherwise it’s about neutralizing Stamkos.

      Bishop is a big goalie, but I like Price in any match up in the Conference. And Bishop is going to get an earful from Prust and Gally so that might rattle his cage a bit.

      I trust Murray to be around when Malone inevitably tries to injure Price.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        Murray is valuable. Impactful against the Bruins. Tinordi is competent as a fighter but would have been a disaster is he had suffered Moen’s fate, so kind of glad he was held out of the Bruins game. Playoffs are different, so Tinordi’s presence may also keep Malone in check.

  6. The Juice says:

    @ Billyboy agree!

  7. Lafleurguy says:

    I’m going to do my share to get this over 2,000. The above summary may turn out to be longer than the ALN.

  8. Lafleurguy says:

    Missing out on the inanity of getting first post, so I want to chime in that just before the Olympic break, the TSN hockey panel, you know, Duthie, MacKenzie, Dreger, Ward, Heckel, Jeckel, insided their opinions on who the best Canadian teams were. Leafs first, Canucks second, Jets and Habs 3rd and 4th in a pick ‘em.

    • B says:

      “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here”.

      I have no problem with them being Underdogs, even many of the fans here can’t believe where they are now at this point of the season.

      –Go Habs Go!–

      • Lafleurguy says:

        On paper, not an impressive pool of talent, with notable exceptions of course. Could it be coaching that gets the maximum out of a grinding team? The latest, and all three wins against Boston makes one believe so.

  9. Willy the bum says:

    Nothing to say at all about tonight’s game, a slow 50-minute game until the Habs tricked the Sabres by getting a safe lead. No one mentioned any names from the Habs’ D corps, so it’s a great thing because they played smart. Tough for the Sabres because it’s such a mess, but in a few years it’ll pick up to be a contender again. Well, enjoy the rest of the night, and hopefully will find a more exciting game against the Red Wings on Thursday. :)

  10. wild flower says:

    This game needs some safety changes..just watched Adam Burish’s hand get destroyed by blocking a point shot – could just as easily be his head. With everybody capable of shooting over 100mph – just buy the right stick – the puck is flying around like never before. It won’t be long before it kills somebody. NHLers should be wearing full head/throat gear.

    • Phil C says:

      Ian Lapierriere came close with a puck to the face. Full face gear seems inevitable. Another option might be to not allow players to go down to block shots except for the goalie. Big rule change though, the purists would lose it.

      • wild flower says:

        Ya, the media guys don’t say too much even though I think they realize the game is becoming insanely dangerous. It would be bad for business. I have a son playing aaa…with the stick technology even 13 year olds can shoot the puck with enough velocity to do serious damage. It’s not just shot blockin..even a deflected shot while standing in front of the net could be bad. Everything about the game seems to be more dangerous: sharper skate blades, more speed and shot velocity.

  11. CJ says:

    Not sure why Leafs fans are panicking. Sure, Clarkson has ten points and is minus 16, but he has another six years to figure it our. It’s all good.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Even funnier, as bad as Toronto has been the past two weeks, look at the Senators. They have managed to assemble the worst collections of defenders in the entire league. Sure, they have offence, but they have zero clue defensively.

    I’m off to bed, a happy man. Sorry, but yes I do take delight in other’s misfortunes. I can’t wait to share the same feeling regarding the Bruins, down the road.

    Night all. Cheers, CJ

    • HabFan in Edmonton says:

      Toronto’s defensive zone coverage is just terrible, part of that has to be coaching. Maybe an ugly 2 points for the Habs tonight but 2 points is huge right now.

    • ProHabs says:

      But Clarkson loves to fight which is very important to the Leafs. Saw him fight Morrow tonight. CLarkson jumps off the bench and goes right after Morrow. He makes sure he is fresh and rested while Morrow is at the end of a shift. SOmething a Leaf or Bruin would do.

      Nice to see George Laroque calling Lucic a chicken today. FIrst thing George has done that I was happy with.

      • HabFan in Edmonton says:

        At least Clarkson used his hands for something tonight. I used to think Carlyle was a good coach but the Leafs have almost the worst goals against in the NHL. Defense is a team responsibility and the Leafs have no system I can see. At the beginning of the year they got away with it because their goaltending was excellent but now it is mediocre and you are seeing the results.

  12. B says:

    Crisp and Vail might be available after their next games for duty in Hamilton (or even on the depleted Habs). Both of their teams are down 3 games to none in their playoffs. I wonder if Bergevin would sign either one up and give them a peek at the next level? Vail is already 20 and Crisp turns 20 on April 8th.

    Edit: I remembered that Nevins is already signed, but RN is threatening to upset higher seeded Quebec so he might not be available for a bit.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  13. punkster says:

    Beaten by Boston March 12, followed by dire predictions against Ottawa (amazing comeback win), supposedly we will fail against Buffalo (but we win), horrible beating to come from Colorado (yet we beat them), definite loss forecast against Columbus (well someone got that right), doom and gloom for the Toronto game (yet somehow we beat them too), total beat down embarrassment coming against Boston (wait, we won that one as well) and finally tonight the experts expected a lousy game and a loss to Buffalo (well you got the lousy game part right).

    I would suggest none of us attempt to lay any money on NHL games in Vegas.

    Release the Subbang!!!

  14. AA - 25 says:

    BH – That is one of the Habs weakness. In many games they made the goalie look great!! In any case it was another good team win and congrats to Pricey on the shut-out …


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