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 the Phoenix Coyotes at the Bell Centre.
Defenceman Alexei Emelin was the unlikely hero Tuesday night as the Canadiens posted a 4-3 overtime win over the Phoenix Coyotes at the Bell Centre.
Emelin scored a power-play at 2:20 when he beat Mike Smith with a slapshot from the point, seconds before Martin Hanzal was scheduled to leave the penalty box.
“(Andrei) Markov and P.K. (Subban) had been out for most of the power play and we sent Emelin and St. Denis out and told them to make sure Phoenix didn’t score,” coach Michel Therrien said.
Rene Bourque, who opened the scoring for the Canadiens, picked up an assist on the game-winner.
The Coyotes , who are still without an owner, showed their resilience as they came back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to earn a point.
Bourque, who was playing only his second game since recovering from off-season abdominal surgery, scored at 6:31 of the first period when he deflected a shot by Brian Gionta.
Scott Gomez scored his second goal of the season to give Montreal a 2-0 lead at 2:50 of the third period, but the Coyotes pulled even on goals by former Canadien Kyle Chipchura at 6:15 and Radim Vrbata at 7:57.
The Canadiens regained the lead at 13:11 when the fourth line delivered. Brandon Prust scored his second goal of the season after Ryan White separated Shane Doan from the puck with a hard check in the neutral zone.
“Whitey made the play,” said Prust, who lifted a backhander into the top corner. “Doan wasn’t able to get a pass off and that opened it up for a breakaway for me.”
The Coyotes assured themselves of a point when defenceman David Schlemko pinched in and scored off a rebound at 17:24 after Carey Price made a stop on Keith Yandle.
Emelin’s goal gave the Canadiens a 1-for-5 record on the power play. The Coyotes had one power play and failed to get a shot on goal. That was partly because Josh Gorges had two of his six blocked shots while killing the penalty.
The Canadiens are home to the Winnipeg Jets Thursday and wrap up the week Saturday when the New York Rangers visit the Bell Centre.