The kids were alright.
Protecting a one-goal lead and fending off a 19-shot Ranger assault during the third period, Jacques Martin gave sugnificant ice time to Lars Eller, Alexandre Picard and Yannick Weber.
The latter two were on as the game’s penultimate D pairing. And with Martin Biron on the bench, Picard and Weber helped hold the fort until P.K. Subban and Hal Gill jumped on for the final seconds.
Every player in the lineup played double-digit minutes.
The PK was perfect again.
Scott Gomez, of all people, scored the winning goal.
P.K. Subban played almost three minutes more than Roman Hamrlik – and would have had more ToI but for two penalties.
I’ll have more later, but for now this is what you can take away from this huge win:
The Canadiens’ Kiddie Corps can play.
I particularly liked Eller. As a succession of physical Rangers tried to take his head off (and Brandon Prust nearly succeeded), the rookie kept his cool and played smart, lead-protection hockey.
It was Carey Price’s fifth shutout of the season, his first since beating the Leafs 2-0 on Nov. 20.
He made 35 saves, several of the spectacular variety, but Price lauded his teammates for holding the Rangers to low-percentage chances from the outside.
It wasn’t easy. The Rangers had that ridiculous 19-6 shot advantage over the last 20 minutes, and their forwards had several sequences of long, anxiety-inducing puck possession.
But as Price said, the Canadiens find a way to win:
Three in a row.
9-2-2 in 2011.
Without three defencemen and Michael Cammalleri.
Sixth-place, baby, and a point out of fifth.