Suffering Canadiens withdrawal? The Gazette has the answer with the ultimate fantasy experience as beat writer Pat Hickey and Gazette techie Eric Tobon employ EA Sports NHL 13 to produce The Season That Isn’t. Here’s how things might have looked in Monday night’s game between the Canadiens and the Nashville Predators at the Bell Centre.
Rene Bourque scored twice in the third period to give the Canadiens a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators Monday night at the Bell Centre.
Bourque, who has taken advantage of playing on the top line with David Desharnais and Erik Cole, scored at 15:19 to tie the game at 3-3 and then provided the Canadiens with their only lead of the game at 19:21.
“I can understand why people want to play with Davey (Desharnais),” said Cole. “On the tying goal, he did a great job of winning a battle behind the net and somehow he managed to get the puck out to me. He had his back to the net but he just seems to know that the play is there,”
Bourque did some battling of his own on the game winner. He appeared to be tied up by a defenceman in front of the net but managed to redirect Josh Gorges’ shot from the point.
With back-to-back games on the schedule, coach Michel Therrien decided to give Peter Budaj his first home start this season and save Carey Price for Tuesday’s game in New Jersey. The Slovak ran his record to 3-0 but not before Martin Erat provided him with some anxious moments. Erat scored power-play goals at 9:09 and 11:27 of the first period to give Nashville a 2-0 lead. Former Canadien Sergei Kostitsyn assisted on both goals.
“We took some lazy penalties and then we didn’t do the job on the PK,” said Therrien. “We were lucky that they took some penalties in the third period.”
What had been a goaltending duel between Budaj and Pekka Rinne became a wide-open game over the final 13 minutes. P.K. Subban matched Erat’s output with two power-play goals of his own. He went backdoor to take a pass from Desharnais at 7:02 and then scored on a slapshot from the point at 10:01.
Patric Hornqvist put the Predators back on top when he scored during a goalmouth scramble at 13:56.
Andrei Markov left the game late in the second period. Therrien said the defenceman didn’t reinjure his surgically repaired knee. He said he didn’t believe the injury was serious but that Markov would not accompany the team to New Jersey. Therrien said that Raphael Diaz has been cleared to play and will probably dress Tuesday.