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 Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.
DENVER _ Carey Price made 27 saves for a shutout but the goaltender said one stop was the difference in the Canadiens’ 2-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche Saturday night at the Pepsi Centre.
“Someone, I think it was Stastny, took a shot from the corner and it was deflected in front,” explained Price. “There were a lot of bodies in front of the net and I didn’t see the puck until the last second. I got my stick on it but I couldn’t control the rebound and I was lucky that Josh (Gorges) cleared it.”
The stop on Paul Stastny was crucial because the score was tied at 0-0.
“The first goal is so important and they sagged a little bit when they missed the opportunity and then we scored two or three minutes later.”
Rene Bourque, who has rebounded from a poor finish last spring and abdominal surgery in the off-season, opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 14:11 of the first period. Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped P.K. Subban’s rising slapshot from the point but he left a rebound for Bourque.
“There are times when P.K. doesn’t know where he’s shooting but the goalies don’t know either,” Bourque said with a laugh. “I thought he was going to take Varlamov’s head off with that shot.”
The Canadiens seemed intent on sitting on the lead and were being outshot 19-8 when Brian Gionta added a shorthanded goal at 17:33 of the second period. Colorado defenceman Erik Johnson failed to control the puck at the point and then compounded his error by falling as he tried to turn. That gave Gionta a clear path to the goal and he jammed the puck between the goaltender’s pads after Varlamov made the initial save.
“It was late in the period and the ice was getting bad,” said Gionta. ”It was about 60 degrees today and the puck was bouncing around a lot. I think we finished with 13 or 14 shots. We say back a little and put some pressure on Carey but we got a two big wins on the road.”
The Canadiens now play their first back-to-back games of the season, meeting the Nashville Predators Monday at the Bell Centre before travelling to New Jersey on Tuesday.