Habs Win Habs Win Habs Win - Finally Effort
First game in the Rene Bourque era in a rare Sunday evening game in Montreal. The scratches for the evening are Petteri Nokelainen and Chris Campoli. The Habs went with seven defensemen and eleven forwards once again. Peter Budaj started against the number one team in the eastern conference.
First period started with the Habs putting on some pressure on the Rangers and Max Pacioretty scored with assists going to Erik Cole and David Desharnais. With the Habs leading in the game and having territorial advantage at five minutes Stu Bickle and Travis Moen squared off in a staged fight off a face off in the Rangers zone. The Habs continued to bring the play to the Rangers and continued to go to the net. The Rangers did tie the game up when Budaj made a nice save but lost sight of the puck and John Mitchell was standing there to send in the rebound - the assists going to Derek Stepan and Marian Gaborik. The shots on goal after the first Rangers 11- Habs 9. Of note, in his first shift Rene Bourque brought the crowd to their feet with nice semi-break and a nice hard shot on net.
The second period was started with Lars Eller and Andrei benched due to their missing their defensive duties on the Rangers goal in the first. The Habs showed good energy and five mintes in to the second a second goal by Max Pacioretty with assists by Erik Cole and David Desharnais. This one was scored when he was in front of the net and deflected a shot from Cole. Shortly after the Habs scored a third goal this time by Mike Blunden on a nice set up from behind the net by none other than Scott Gomez and PK Subban. The middle of the period the Habs were out played by the Rangers and could not make a change- Hal Gill and company held the fort until Peter Budaj could stop the play and get fresh troups out. Shortly after the Habs scored their fourth goal of the game on a nice deflection by the diminutive David Desharnais with assists going to Max Pacioretty and Erik Cole. The Habs did not let up and the shots on goal were 11-11 at the end of the second. Andrei Kostitsyn was put on the line with Rene Bourque and Tomas Plekanec when Travis Moen was injured.
The third period was a good one for the Habs. There were a few moments when they got injured - Plekanec and Darche spent some time in the dressing room - Plekanec did not return to the game and Darche got struck in the throat by friendly fire. He did return to the game.
At the end of the game it was nice to see that PK Subban did the triple low five with Peter Budaj who won his first game in the Bell Centre as a home town goalie. It was a nice effort and although I still believe they will not make the playoffs the effort is now there - finally.