Habs This Week: Winding Down
This week, much to the sadness and/or delight of many Canadiens' fans, is the last of 2011-12. Last week, the Habs surrendered all three of their games, two in the shootout and one in regulation time against the Rangers.
Squeezed out: Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
Renowned Hab-killer Scott Clemmensen was in goal once again for the Panthers, but Montreal managed to pot two goals behind him, leading 2-1 at the start of the third period.
Erik Cole's career-high 31st goal of the season was a direct reply to the Wojtek Wolski goal that opened the scoring at 13:04 of the first period. The two teams remained tied until Frederic St-Denis sent a nifty pass to Louis Leblanc, who buried it behind Clemmensen with less than two minutes remaining before second intermission.
Carey Price managed 34 saves in the game, but couldn't stop Mikael Samuelsson in the middle of the third period. Then, despite the fact that the Habs outshot their opponents 5-0 in the extra frame, it was Florida's desperation to move up in the standings that showed more as none of Montreal's shooters could capitalize on their chances and the Panthers, aided once again by Wolski, swept the season series 4-0.
TOI: Subban (28:05)
SOG: Pacioretty (9)
Points: Desharnais/Cole/Pacioretty/Leblanc/St-Denis (1)
Tumbling Down: Friday, March 30th, 2012
|New York Rangers||1||1||2||4|
The Eastern Conference leaders stabilized their reign once more by adding another two points to their record. Marian Gaborik got his team on the board first with his 39th of the year. Then Brad Richards capitalized on a too many men call that carried over from the first period and the Canadiens struggled to counter, only mustering 20 shots on goal.
New York continued to pile on in the third, as it was Michael Del Zotto's turn to use the man-advantage to score. Rene Bourque replied shortly thereafter, but it was the lone time the Habs could beat Henrik Lundqvist. It was the Rangers' 50th win this season, a feat they last accomplished when they won the Stanley Cup in 1994.
TOI: Subban (25:50)
SOG: Subban/Bourque/Blunden (3)
Points: Plekanec/Campoli/Bourque (1)
Capital Punishment: Saturday, March 31st, 2012
In what can probably be called the best loss of the week, the Canadiens overcame a 2-0 deficit to make the Washington Capitals, struggling to secure themselves a playoff spot, sweat just a little bit. Again, however, the Habs weren't able to play spoiler this time.
(First bongos, now this. I fail to understand)
Another Hab-killer of the French-Canadian variety, Mathieu Perreault, had several Habs' fans cringing followed by a collective facepalm after he notched his 15th of the year. Montreal took three penalties in the first period, but despite Jay Beagle's 2-0 marker, Erik Cole was able to cut the lead in half before the opening 20 minutes were over.
There was a lot more discipline in the second frame, and Tomas Plekanec was able to knot the game at 2 at 14:31. The game would stay this way until extra time, and despite the Canadiens shooting everything possible at Michal Neuvirth, every puck stayed behind the goal line. Peter Budaj wasn't so lucky, as Matt Hendricks and Alexander Semin both got the best of him and Washington went home with the two points they needed.
TOI: Subban (27:13)
SOG: Subban (6)
Points: Plekanec/St-Denis/Pacioretty/Markov/Cole (1)
vs Tampa Bay, Wednesday, April 4th
@ Carolina, Thursday, April 5th
vs Toronto, Saturday, April 7th