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 Saturday night’s game between the Canadiens and the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center.
BUFFALO _ The Canadiens threw everything but the kitchen sink at Ryan Miller but the Buffalo goaltender was unbeatable as the Sabres blanked the Canadiens 1-0 Saturday night at First Niagara Center.
“If someone had told me we would have 39 shots and not score a goal, I wouldn’t have believed them,” said Max Pacioretty.
With David Deshatnais nursing an abdominal strain, Tomas Plekanec moved between Pacioretty and Erik Cole and the line accounted for 19 of the Canadiens’ shots.
“You have to give (Miller) a lot of credit because there were a few times when I had the opening and he shut it down,” said Cole, who led the team with 10 shots on goal. Pacioretty had seven and Plekanec had two.
“Our guys deserved an A for effort,” said coach Michel Therrien. “We generated a lot of chances, we limited their chances. Both teams had great goaltending but there are times when you do everything right and it doesn’t work out. The good news is that we get these guys back home on Monday.”
Carey Price had a shutout of his own until John Scott’s shot deflected off Matt Ellis.
“(Ellis) didn’t even see the puck,” said Price, who made 24 saves. “Josh (Gorges) had him tied up in front of the net and the shot hit him on the back on his leg.”
Therrien had some injury updates and there was a mix of good and bad news.
Desharnais had a light skate in Brossard Saturday. He has been officially listed as day-to-day but Therrien said he wouldn’t be ready for the rematch against the Sabres.
The news on defenceman P.K. Subban isn’t as encouraging. Therrien said he will be out for a month with an upper-body injury which we can tell is a hip pointer. Therrien said Subban would probably join the team for its post-season trip to Florida but only so that he continue his rehab under the watchful of athletic therapist Graham Rynbend.
“P.K. has been told to rest for a week and then he’ll start working after the Christmas break,” said Therrien. “The doctors say a month but P.K. says he expects to be back sooner and it’s possible because he’s young and he’s in great shape.”
After Monday’s game, the Canadiens hit the road for six games. They’ll visit Ottawa, Washington and Toronto before Christmas while Tampa Bay, Florida and Carolina on the other side of the holiday.