Sometimes those plain and simple no-frills road games can be so important in the scheme of things.
Montreal, in beating the Rangers 2-1 at Madison Square Garden, earn a blue collar road win, collect two points, and they do it with Alex Auld getting it done in nets and coming through when we needed him to.
Auld was sometimes good, sometimes average, and sometimes lucky, and this successful outing can only help his game and give his coaches and fans the confidence that all is not lost when Carey Price has a well-deserved night off.
It was a road game the Canadiens wanted to win, which is another of those understatements I seem to come with every so often. They edge just two points closer to New York in the Eastern Conference. They stay neck and neck with the Bruins for first in the Northeast. And Carolina, chasing the Habs for the final playoff spot, beat Calgary tonight 6-5 in a shootout, but failed to gain ground with Auld and company winning this big game in the Big Apple, a city bracing itself as a frigid Mother Nature decides to be bitchy again..
Now Price gets his rest, the team gets the points, Auld gets his win, and even though the Habs continue to be a feeble scoring machine, a win is a win.
Now, all they have to do is fight the snow and winds to get back to Montreal to meet and greet the Penguins, who are already there all toasty and pampered.
So far it’s still Jaroslav Spacek credited with Montreal’s first goal but it sure seemed that it went in off Mathieu Darche, who also thought so. Regardless, it tied it at one.
Benoit Pouliot fooled Henrik Lundqvist with a nice shot over the goalie’s shoulder to win it. Pouliot’s had his moments lately to be sure.
Penguins tomorrow. Let’s hope the plane back to Montreal ride isn’t too stressful.
Shots on goal – 38-26 Habs.