Jan 25, 2012; Montreal, QC, CAN; Montreal Canadiens players celebrate a goal by center David Desharnais (51) goal against the Detroit Red Wings during the first period at the Bell Center. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-US PRESSWIRE

Ole! Ole! Ole! Canadiens Beat Red Wings 7-2

In a barnburner tonight, the Canadiens beat the Red Wings 6-2. In other news, the fat lady sang and cows starting flying around. In all seriousness, I did predict a win earlier tonight, but I imagined that the catalysts would be a stellar goaltending performance and was only 1 out of 3 on my goal scorer predictions.

This game started out with a bang, with Rene Bourque scoring his 15th of the season (and second of the night) off a drive to the net on a great centering pass from Gomez and the secondary assist going to Diaz. From then on, the first period was all Canadiens. The period would end 4-0, with the shots 12-6 in favor of Montreal. Notably, Alexei Emelin would score his first as a Canadien to make it 2-0 about 5 minutes later, followed by 2 goals in the final three minutes of the period courtesy of David Desharnais‘ excellent deke on Howard and a Plekanec backhand.

In the second, the Canadiens would add two more goals to make it 6-0 and ensure everyone gets some chicken wings despite being outshot 12-5. Pacioretty would score his 17th of the year, and Desharnais would score his 2nd of the night on the powerplay.

The third period would see two goals from Jiri Hudler, but Erik Cole would put the final nail in the coffin with his 19th of the season in the final two minutes of the third.

All in all, the Red Wings outshot the Canadiens 27-25, but couldn’t overcome an absolutely terrible goaltending performance by Howard. He ended the night after giving up 4 goals in the first on only 12 shots. His backup, Ty Conklin didn’t fare much better, giving up 3 on 13 shots in relief.

More important statistics for tonight? It was a night for multipoint games. Desharnais ended the night with 2G 1A, Cole with 1G 2A, Bourque with 1G 1A, Pacioretty with 1G 1A, and Kaberle with 2A.

Also a key stat tonight: Subban was benched for the entirety of the second period. It would seem that his penalty, for elbowing Daniel Cleary in the face while on the PP, didn’t impress the Habs coaching staff. He would be reinserted in the third, and finished with no points and an even plus minus.

Overall, an impressive effort from the Habs. Games like this get the fan base hoping that a patented Canadiens Cinderella run is in the cards. Whatever happens, for a night at least, Canadiens fans got to serenade the visitors with boisterous oles and raucous cheers.

Also, props to the Red Wings fan who threw the octopus on the ice in the dying minutes! Weird sight to see on the Bell Centre ice.

 

My Three Stars:

Alexei Emelin – His first goal as a Hab, and with a bit more finish could have had his second. He’s got a bright future. He, along with Gorges and Subban are the cornerstones of the Habs defensive future.

Erik Cole – 3 point night for Cole. Used his speed to create opportunities. No one has benefitted more from this signing, which was criticized by pundits in the summer, than David Desharnais.

David Desharnais – He’s a good player, showed it tonight. His 3 point night was great, and even at his small stature tries to crash the net when he can. His goal off the rush was a beauty.

Honorable mentions: Tomas Plekanec looked like he had it in him tonight. Andrei Kostitsyn and Lars Eller also had some brilliant shifts.

 

 

 

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