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 Tuesday night’s game between the Canadiens and Calgary Flames at the Bell Centre:
An injury to Max Pacioretty has provided Rene Bourque with increased ice time and the veteran is making the most of the opportunity.
Bourque, who is playing on the top line with David Desharnais and Erik Cole, had a goal and an assist Tuesday night as the Canadiens blanked the Calgary Flames 3-0 at the Bell Centre.
“I know what Patch is going through because I missed training camp and the beginning of the season, but I’m happy that the coach has given me an opportunity to play more,” said Bourque, who underwent abdominal surgery in the off-season.
Desharnais scored the only goal the Canadiens would need when he buried the rebound after Miikka Kiprusoff made the save on Cole at 9:08 of the first period. Bourque, who came to Montreal in the trade that sent Michael Cammalleri to Calgary, had the second assist on the goal.
The Canadiens maintained that 1-0 lead until Bourque scored on a power play at 4:13 of the third period after Raitis Ivanans went off for holding.
“You have to give the credit for that goal to (Andrei Markov),” Bourque said. “I just found a spot to the side of Kipper and Marky put the put the puck right on the tape.“
Carey Price, who made 24 saves for his first shutout of the season, said he was relieved to see Bourque score.
“Our guys did a good job of limiting their chances and I don’t think I had to make any big saves, but when it’s 1-0 anything can happen,” Price said.
The Canadiens wasted a golden opportunity immediately after the Bourque goal when they enjoyed a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:37 but failed to get a shot on net. The Canadiens’ power play went 1-for-5 while the Flames were 0-for-2.
Tomas Plekanec added an insurance goal when he redirected P.K. Subban’s shot from the point at 15:06. It was the sixth goal of the season for Plekanec and that tied him for the team lead with Pacioretty, who is out with an upper-body injury.
The Canadiens will finish the week on the road with games Thursday in Winnipeg and Saturday in Colorado.
(Photo by Dave Sidaway/The Gazette)