It seemed at the trade deadline that Jeff Petry’s name was on a number of lists as a desirable acquisition for several NHL teams. Fortunately, the Montreal Canadiens can be thankful – at least for one game – that they didn’t trade him. The Canadiens beat the visiting Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 less than a minute into overtime when Petry scored the game-winning goal.
Once again, the Canadiens came out hot – leading 3-0 – but then gave up goal after goal until the game was tied. It was the fifth straight home game in which the Canadiens simply could not protect a cushion of more than one goal. They are 1-2-2 in those games, and tonight was the one win. With the victory, the team snapped a two-game losing streak.
Brendan Gallagher admitted, “We haven’t been good with leads. We have to work through this and learn to play with the lead.”
He added, “We were better tonight. We were more aggressive. But at the same time, three pucks still end up in the back of our net. You have a two-goal lead or a three-goal lead, they need to be locked down.”
I know it’s a poor reason for wanting the Habs to win a game like this, but I’m sad of seeing Brendan Gallagher losing his cool at the end of the game when the team loses a game that was well in hand (or so it seemed). I’m not blaming him by the way – I just feel bad for him because he tries so hard.
In this post, as the team leaves on a three-game road trip to New York (the Islanders) and then to play both Florida teams, I want to keep Canadiens’ fans up-to-date on what’s happening with the team.
Item One: Charlie Lindgren Wins a Rare Start
Charlie Lindgren made a rare start and came out the winner. He made 27 saves in the 4-3 overtime win over the Hurricanes on Saturday. He seems to do well in overtime because his last game was February 4, and he won 5-4 in a shootout against the New Jersey Devils.
Carey Price got the night off after playing 11 consecutive games. It was his first start since February 4. Starter Carey Price had started the last 11 games in a row and 17 of the Canadiens’ last 18 games.
Montreal head coach Claude Julien reported to the media that ”Lindgren played a good game. There was a lot of traffic in front of him on their goals. He made some big saves, especially in the dying seconds.”
Julien also added that he was “pretty sure you’re going to see him (Lindgren) again. The goal is not to ride Price into the ground” … but to “give Charlie the opportunity to play here. And if he plays well, why not?”
Item Two: Jeff Petry Scores Game-Winning Goal
Petry scored the game-winning goal on his only shot of the night, but that’s not to say he didn’t get lots of ice time. In fact, he logged a team-high 25:35 minutes of ice time. Petry became the overtime hero 52 seconds into the extra period. It was his 10th goal of the season, and he now has scored more than 10 goals in three straight seasons.
Item Three: Max Domi Is on a Scoring Binge
Max Domi scored another goal in the win over the Hurricanes. He had been AOL for much of January and February but he now has a five-game scoring streak (four goals and three assists). His season’s total now has 44 points in 67 games. It isn’t up to last season’s pace, but he’s an intriguing player and I look for the Canadiens to re-sign him after the season. His salary-cap hit is $3.15 million, and I’m wondering if there’s a raise in store for him. Perhaps there’s a bigger payday somewhere else for him: he was rumored as part of a number of trade deadline deals.
Item Four: Brendan Gallagher Scores Two Points in the Hurricanes Victory
Gallagher had a two-point night against the Hurricanes, with a goal and an assist. It was his first two-point game of the new year and his goal gave the Canadiens a three-goal lead – a lead they almost wasted. Gallagher’s top line hasn’t scored much recently, but he now stands at 21 goals and needs nine more in his next 15 games for a three-straight 30-goal season.
Item Five: Top-Line Player Tomas Tatar Scores Three Assists
Tomas Tatar scored three assists, which gave him a new career mark for points. He currently has 61 points (22 goals and 39 assists) in 66 games. There’s a chance he might even score 70 points by the end of the season. He’s been a good find for the team.
What Other Canadiens’ News Is There?
In other short news snippets, Jonathan Drouin’s ankle is still not healed enough for him to play. Sadly, he’s missed all but 27 games during the season and has scored only 15 points. His injury is a reason the Canadiens are struggling to make the playoffs. He hasn’t scored since November 9.
Goalie Keith Kinkaid was loaned to the Charlotte Checkers for the remainder of the season. Although he still remains a part of the Canadiens system, he’ll play for the Hurricanes AHL affiliate the rest of this season.
Finally, Cole Caufield has been asked by Canadiens’ general manager Marc Bergevin to stay at the University of Wisconsin next season. Good for Bergevin. Even if Caufield makes if big in the NHL, it never hurts to get a university degree and Wisconsin is one of the best universities in the United States.
Caufield is seen to be an elite talent, but he’s obviously not in the Canadiens’ plans next season. There’s also a question about the 19-year-old winger’s size at 5-foot-7 and 162 pounds. He’s scored 19 goals and 16 assists in 33 NCAA games this season.
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