Canadiens head athletic therapist Graham Rynbend helps Michael Cammalleri (left) and Max Pacioretty off HSBC Center ice in Buffalo. Note photo at left: Pacioretty on the bench, soon to be headed off in distress himself.
Bill Wippert, NHLI via Getty Images
• At a Glance: Carnage, that’s what it was. Forget that the Canadiens lost 2-1 to the Buffalo Sabres in overtime at HSBC Arena Tuesday night, in the Habs’ second game in back-to-back matches. Forget the incredible work of Habs goalie Carey Price, and the superb play of his counterpart, Ryan Miller.
Let’s cut to the clinic: Michael Cammalleri was crosschecked into the boards by Sabres’ Mike Weber and emerged with a left shoulder injury, reported by TSN to be a probable separation that will put Cammalleri on the shelf for two weeks. Max Pacioretty was drilled in the midsection by a point shot off the stick of teammate James Wisniewski. RDS reported it to be a rib injury, and Pacioretty was taken to hospital on a stretcher, connected to intravenous fluids, said to be for observation and to ensure that Pacioretty had suffered no internal injuries.
Centre Jeff Halpern was hit twice with high checks and left the game for a bit, returning in the second but playing very little. It was later reported he had a shoulder injury. Defenceman P.K. Subban was smoked in the foot with a shot and nearly collapsed leaving the ice, but returned. Scott Gomez and Andrei Kostitsyn were both hobbled by third-period shots. Hal Gill seemed to have taken a shot off his hand in overtime but RDS colleague Renaud Lavoie reported postgame it was nothing serious. Benoit Pouliot didn’t even make the trip (smart guy!), still nursing the flu. Earlier in the day, defenceman Josh Gorges flew to Alabama where on Wednesday he will have reconstructive surgery on his right ACL, joining similarly injured Andrei Markov on the sidelines for the balance of the season.
• The Scoring: Oh right. The goals. Canadiens’ David
Desharnais opened the scoring at 5:19 of the first period, tipping in a
Roman Hamrlik shot, and Buffalo’s Tyler Ennis tied it up at 11:21 of the
second on a Sabres power play. Jason Pominville scored the winner in OT
after the Canadiens had killed a high-sticking penalty to Gomez that
spanned regulation and overtime.
• Key Moments: Injuries.
Take your pick. They hurt. Badly.
• What It Means:
Montreal’s record goes to to 25-17-4 for 54 points.
Next: The Canadiens will lick their wounds Wednesday in Montreal,
having chartered home immediately after the game. They’re expected to
practise Thursday, then play two more in as many nights: in Ottawa
Friday vs. the Senators, and back home Saturday for the homecoming of
their former captain Saku Koivu, now skating with the Anaheim Ducks.