Injury bug hits Habs in fantasy loss to Kings

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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 Thursday night’s game between the Canadiens and the Los Angeles Kings at the Bell Centre.

PAT HICKEY
THE GAZETTE

Jeff Carter’s second goal of the game snapped a 3-3 tie and propelled the Stanley Cup-champion Los Angeles Kings to a 5-3 win over the Canadiens Thursday night, but that was only the beginning of the bad news.

Earlier in the day, the Canadiens learned that David Desharnais suffered an upper-body injury Wednesday night in New York and the Canadiens finished the Los Angeles game without defenceman P.K. Subban.

“We’re not sure what the problem is, but it looks like Desharnais is day-to-day. But P.K. could be a matter of weeks rather than days,” coach Michel Therrien said.

There was an unconfirmed report that Subban suffered a hip pointer when he was checked along the boards in the second period by Mike Richards. Subban attempted to return to the ice after missing a shift, but was in obvious discomfort.

Carter capped a three-point night when he beat Carey Price at 9:01 of the third period. He also scored at 3:10 of the second period to give the Kings a 3-1 lead.

The Canadiens rallied to tie the score as Brian Gionta scored at 6:45 of the second period and Tomas Plekanec scored a power-play goal at 19:35. The power play was one of the few bright spots for the Canadiens, who went 2-for-5. The Kings were 0-for-3 with the extra man.

“We showed a lot of determination to tie the score, but we gave the momentum back to them,” Gionta said. “You have to give them credit for playing good defence, but we only had four shots in the third period and we didn’t respond after they took the lead.”

The Kings came out of the first period with a 2-1 lead. Dustin Brown opened the scoring at 11:01 with assists from Carter and Richards. Tomas Kaberle tied it when he beat Jonathan Quick on the power play at 18:41, but Simon Gagne put the Kings back on top at 19:20.

“We just had a breakdown,” Therrien said. “You can’t give up goals in the first or last minute of a period.”

Anze Kopitar added an insurance goal for the Kings at 16:16 of the third period.

Ryan White and the Kings’ Kyle Clifford exchanged blows in the third period with the linesmen stepping in after White opened a cut over Clifford’s right eye.

Next up for the Canadiens is a pair of games against the Buffalo Sabres. The teams meet Friday in Buffalo and are back at the Bell Centre on Monday. That will be the Canadiens’ final home game before they embark on a six-game road trip around the Christmas holiday.

phickey@montrealgazette.com

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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