Two goals and an assist for Michael Ryder as he and his Canadiens hand the Florida Panthers a 5-2 smacking, and the first-place squad finishes off a highly successful five-game road trip losing only once along the way.
And although he didn’t exactly have to overextend himself on this night, Peter Budaj has now won his last four starts..
It’s a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that the backup is doing the job and can be relied upon, although he barely had to break a sweat against a lackluster Florida squad. I feel bad for saying awhile back that Budaj needed to not play so much. He’s done what he’s been asked to do – spell Carey Price from time to time and win while doing it.
Not only that, he’s allowed just six goals in these four wins. Although unofficially it’s only five.
Francis Bouillon scored twice on this night, one for his team and one for the other, a beautiful shot into his own net from six feet out that Budaj had no chance on. I suppose Bouillon was simply trying to swipe it away and it didn’t work out so well, and as we saw on the TV screen, he sat glumly on the bench afterward while Alexei Emelin, sitting beside him, enjoyed a good chuckle. And it was funny, except it ruined Budaj’s shutout and it could have opened the door for the Panthers.
It was a nice shot, though.
Ryder, on a late power play, gave the Canadiens their fifth goal, put the thing out of reach, and Bouillon can laugh alongside his teammates now that the two points are on the board and he realizes Peter Budaj thought it was funny too.
This team just keeps on rolling. It’s inspiring. A successful road trip without Rene Bourque and Raphael Diaz, plus losing Brandon Prust the other night. Everyone’s chipping in. Michael Ryder has tallied two goals and seven assists in the seven games he’s been with the club. On any given night, the heroes could be Desharnais or Gionta or Subban or Max or Emelin or Plekanec and on and on. None of the guys who are expected to produce are mired in dreadful slumps. The backup goalie is winning. The rookies are excellent.
All we need at this time is for the doctors to step up their game and do some quick healing.
Now it’s a few days rest for this force to be reckoned with before Ottawa shows up on Wednesday. I don’t want to sound greedy, but a trouncing of the Sens would be nice.
Montreal outshot the Panthers 38-17.
Brian Gionta contributed a goal and an assist. Subban had two assists, as did Plekanec. And Alexei Emelin had an assist, giving him two goals and eight assists on the season, which isn’t chopped liver. The big Russian is looking as comfortable as can be in his Habs uniform, and it’s great to see.
David Desharnais opened the scoring, with Brendan Gallagher (and Emelin) assisting. Andrei Markov contributed on Ryder’s final tally.
I’m sure you noticed the lower bowl of the BB&T Center. Best seats in the house. Empty.