They still had to rely on Carey Price to come up big, but the Canadiens on Long Island would get the job done, winning 3-1 and looking better than they have in their other six games in March, and keeping me from putting %$#&* in the title.
Yes there were a few bad penalties taken by the boys, including a hot-headed Dale Weise boarding call that could’ve been smarter, and an Andrei Markov tripping penalty with just 4:11 left in the game and his team up-2-0, and which lead to an Islanders’ power play goal to make things tense for all concerned.
Not to mention that the Isles goal was scored after Max had sent an absolutely soft and ill-advised puck to the enemy in the slot.
But a Lars Eller empty-netter sealed it and the Canadiens, at least until Monday, stop the acid rain that has been coming down for about two weeks now, beginning in sunny California.
The win puts the Canadiens two big points ahead of the Lightning, who lost 2-1 to Winnipeg on Saturday, but most importantly, they looked like they’d finally slept off their stupor, shook out the cobwebs, and picked it up a notch.
That and Carey Price.
Montreal opened the scoring early in the second period on a Galchenyuk to Parenteau to Galchenyuk to Plekanec bang, bang, banger, and later, Max would fire one home with his team shorthanded, after Isles goaltender Michael Neuvirth left the puck behind his net, only to have it grabbed by Lars Eller who sent it out to Max.
It was also in this second frame that Carey Price swooped his glove behind him to rob Matt Martin, which you can see here at the bottom, and which is what plenty of folks will be talking about for the next day or two.
A fine effort in general by the visiting Canadiens, although they were outshot 36-30 and were saved by Price a bit more than should be expected.
They also went 0-4 on the power play but that’s not really news. They go 0-4 every game.
Next up – another important beauty as the Canadiens head to Tampa Bay for a Monday night meeting with Bolts. Time to shake these guys once and for all. They’re like leeches on the skin after swimming in local swamp.
Shoutout to both Lars Eller and P.A. Parenteau for contributing in a big way.