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Title - Hockey is Canadien
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Follow Me on TwitterDean Eastman is the Montreal Canadiens' correspondent for OurHometown.ca Dean was born in Cornwall and raised in Long Sault and has been a loyal Habs fan since the days of the Pocket Rocket and the Roadrunner. He now calls Whitby, Ontario home to his wife Heather and young son Eric. Dean is passionate about his hockey, whether it be from the junior or professional ranks. Dean will provide current news and views on the Montreal Canadiens' organization from a global perspective. If you have questions or wish to contact Dean, you can email him at deastman@ourhometown.ca
Canadiens' Vets deliver as they feed OT loss to Desert Dogs
Dean Eastman
OurHometown.ca

Hockey is Canadien
Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens played like rabid dogs on Thursday night in Glendale, Arizona. Canadiens’ captain Brian Gionta played more like a team captain should and led by example as the Canadiens fought to enjoy a 3 – 2 overtime victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.
PHOTO CREDIT - NHL.com

Whitby - November 11, 2011 - The Montreal Canadiens played like rabid dogs on Thursday night in Glendale, Arizona. Montreal was hungry for a win after coming up empty on Tuesday night in a loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Canadiens’ captain Brian Gionta played more like a team captain should and led by example as the Canadiens fought to enjoy a 3 " 2 overtime victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Rock solid, stay-at-home defenseman Josh Gorges tallied the overtime marker at the 1:45 minute mark for Montreal with a beautiful slap shot just inside the Phoenix blueline, but in all honesty, it was the strong effort of Lars Eller that made it all happen. Eller lugged the puck down the right side of the ice, gained the Phoenix zone while fighting off three Coyotes’ defenders, leaving the puck open as a gift to Josh Gorges who fired the biscuit past Coyotes’ netminder Mike Smith.

Both netminders played outstanding hockey in the contest. Canadiens’ Carey Price was solid as he normally is and Coyotes’ Smith was not to be outdone at Phoenix’ end of the ice. Price’s only blunder was his tendency to leave his crease to play the puck. In the first period, Price did just that, coughed the puck up with an errant clearing attempt and moments later, Mikkel Boedker wristed the game’s first goal past Price.

Goal scorers in the game were Brian Gionta (two-point night), Travis Moen and Gorges (game winning goal) for Montreal (6-7-2). Phoenix (7-4-3) got goals from Boedker and Raffi Torres. When you analyze the game from start-to-finish, the Canadiens played the perfect road game. The Canadiens’ infirmary continues to expand as both Michael Cammalleri and Andrei Kostitsyn did not dress for Thursday night’s game. Scott Gomez accompanied the team out west, but for some unknown reason, Coach Jacques Martin did not dress him. One cannot help but love the physicality that both Erik Cole and Max Pacioretty bring to a diminutive Canadiens forward corps of skaters.

Cole led his team with five hits and what was pleasing to the collective eyes of all Habs’ fanatics, he was given 18:35 minutes of icetime, deserving of a first-line forward. Let us hope Cole keeps getting at least this much icetime going forward. While the game had its share of physical hits, it really was a tame affair as the game only saw three minor penalties in total between the two clubs. Montreal got a scare late in the first period when star centre Tomas Plekanec crashed hard into the side boards after colliding with Coyotes’ defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. It appeared Plekanec had suffered a lower back injury on the play. Thankfully, Plekanec did return to play in the second period.

The announced three stars of the game were Phoenix’ Raffi Torres (3rd star, one goal), netminder Mike Smith (2nd star, 33 saves, .917 save percentage) and Montreal’s Carey Price (1st star, 32 saves, .941 save percentage). There were 14,138 fans in attendance.

For the complete NHL.com Boxscore and individual Canadiens’ player stats, please click the link below.

The Canadiens now face Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators in Nashville on Saturday evening. The competition is about to get a whole lot tougher for the Canadiens.

View from the Whitby cheap seats

Game Summary
STATS & PHOTO CREDIT - NHL.com

  • Montreal outshot Phoenix 36 - 34

  • For once, Montreal was the better team in the faceoff department, winning 54% of the faceoffs: David Desharnais: An incredible 13-of-18 faceoffs won (.722)
    Lars Eller: Still struggling with 6-of-15 faceoffs won (.400)
    Petteri Nokelainen: three-of-five faceoffs won (.600)
    Tomas Plekanec: 10-of-21 faceoffs won (.476)

  • Brian Gionta played like the player Habs’ fans have grown accustom to registering a goal and an assist, was a plus+2 in the contest and fired five shots on goal. Let’s hope he keeps this type of performance up.

  • Fourth-line winger Mike Blunden only saw four shifts in the game, was a minus-1 and saw only 1:43 minutes of icetime.

  • Subban had a much better game, played 25:34 minutes of icetime, was a plus+3 and had two shots on goal.

    Until next time, play every game as if it is your last one…


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