Whew! That had to be one of the most stressful shootouts in recent memory.
Two big points for the Canadiens as they snuck by the Pens 3-2 in a game which provided thrills and spills, and of course, most importantly, another successful must-win as they attempt the death-defying stunt of coming back from the dead and making a season of it.
It would be nice of the Montrealers would quit blowing leads, as they did twice on this night, but they managed to get it done regardless, as overtime came and went, and then the extended shootout where I just entered the Guinness Book of Records for longest time without breathing.
Eight Habs went in on Marc-Andre Fleury – Rene Bourque, Lars Eller, and Tomas Plekanec lit the lamp, and all in all, it was a satisfying win, the team’s second straight, and without getting carried away here, the Habs played with enthusiasm and spirit, and looked good. They just need to keep it going on Thursday when they make their way to Long Island.
It was a team effort, led by Carey Price, who was once again sensational, and I liked what PK Subban brought to the table. PK looked alive, in a zone, and withstood a Kris Letang tackle after the lad had messed with Evgeny Malkin along the boards. Tomas Plekanec showed spark and had several chances, Louis Leblanc showed confidence in himself and scored his team’s first goal, and Lars Eller pounded one off the post which deflected off Fleury’s back and into the net. A rare break, it seems, for our beleaguered ones.
I’m happy, and no, I don’t want them to tank so they can grab a great draft pick. Just keep working hard and playing well, and let’s see what happens. Staying positive feels much better than the alternative.
Travis Moen was back after missing five games and Yannick Weber was helped off the ice late in the game. So it’s get one back, lose one.
Shots on goal, Pittsburgh 34, Montreal 30.
Thursday in Long Island, Saturday in Toronto. Of course we need both. It would mark just the second time this season the Canadiens won four straight if they can pull it off, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I’m just greedy, that’s all.