(Photo: The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz)
The Bell Centre finally came to life in the last minute of the third period when Brian Gionta scored the tying goal against the Detroit Red Wings. But the Canadiens only managed to pick up a point, losing 2-1 in overtime.
Gustav Nyquist scored the overtime winner for the Red Wings.
The Canadiens registered only two shots on goal in a sleepy second period, the first one coming at 12:31.
“They were doing a good job of bottling us up,” Gionta said.
“We had no pressure anywhere on the ice. We were second on puck pretty much the first two periods. Most of that they were beating us to everything and it shows.”
It was both teams’ first game back from a 17-day hiatus during the Olympic break.
“You could tell from most of the players the execution tonight was not there and from both teams, by the way,” said Canadiens coach Michel Therrien.
“Both teams played solid defensively and there was not much space on the ice,” Therrien said.
It was Alex Galchenyuk’s first game back after missing 15 games with a broken hand. He was bumped up to Tomas Plekanec’s line in the third period as Therrien juggled lines to try to generate some offense.
Galchenyuk said he felt he played better as the game went on.
“I felt okay during the first and the second period. But I found in the third period I kind of started playing my game a bit, got the legs under me,” he said.
Canadiens’ back-up goaltender Peter Budaj played a solid game in net, making 28 saves.
Defenceman Jarred Tinordi, who was called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday, also turned in a solid performance, playing his first game with the Habs since last October.
With the overtime loss, the Canadiens now have 71 points, one more than the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic division, and five more than the Red Wings, who have a game in hand.
You can watch what Gionta had to say here:
You can watch what Galchenyuk had to say here:
And you can listen to Tinordi here:
(Video: Brenda Branswell)