It sure wasn’t pretty, but somehow, after the dust had settled, the Canadiens found themselves with a 4-3 shootout win in Newark against a solid New Jersey Devil squad that is probably still shaking their heads.
With the clock rapidly winding down, I started getting up from the couch to head to the computer to babble nonsense for a couple of uninspired minutes and then hit the sack so I’ll be fresh to give my usual 145% at work tomorrow.
But before I could even unhinge my creaky knee bones, the Habs tied it with mere seconds left and took it to a shootout where they won yet another game, their 7th in the last eight outings.
Once again it wasn’t pretty, but the two points are. And you should hear my knees crack when I get up from the couch.
The Canadiens had opened the scoring in the first period when Brian Gionta converted a nice Daniel Briere pass, and the score remained just that through the second and into the third.
And through most of everything, the Devils were the much better team, but Peter Budaj was shutting the door when called upon.
But then a Devil shot surprised everyone on the ice as it made its way through to the back of the net, and the game was suddenly tied.
Midway in the third, Michael Ryder put his team up 2-1, and it was that old sinking feeling. It would be tough to rebound against a tight checking and disciplined Devils team who could taste it.
Then it all went nuts.
With 3:50 left, Lars Eller tied it up, and overtime seemed a sure bet.
But as horrible as could be, with all the talk about P.K. Subban not always being trustworthy enough to be chosen for Canada’s Olympic team, our guy suddenly lost the puck near his own net, and the Devils, with just 1:06 remaining, once again took the lead and this is where Luci went to the kitchen and I got up to move to the computer.
Then we sat right back down. Because 27 second later, with just 37 seconds left on the clock, David Desharnais deflected the puck and overtime was once again a sure bet.
Overtime proved scoreless and the game went to a shootout, and with goals from Eller and DD, the team overcame a bunch of odds, grabbed a couple of points, and very shortly need to refocus on the task ahead, which is the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
Seeing P.K. cough up the puck like that wasn’t good game-wise, and it wasn’t good Olympic-wise either. But this sort of thing happens in hockey games. Pucks are lost off sticks. But next time, P.K., please try to be more careful.
Brandon Prust took on Cam Janssen in the first frame after the Devils player had rammed Alex Galchenyuk hard in the boards. It was an even fight, and also one of the longer ones you’ll ever see.
New Jersey outshot the Canadiens 34-30.
There sure were a lot of empty seats at the Prudential Center. Imagine going to see the Habs and being able to sit front and centre, or choose anywhere you like. It’s never happened in my lifetime. Any Habs game I’ve ever been at have been sold out affairs.
Bruins on deck, waiting in Montreal, getting pissed drinking Pink Ladies.