Eller, Gallagher, Habs Youth Shine in Habs Victory Over Leafs

Photo: Claus Andersen, Getty Images

Photo: Claus Andersen, Getty Images

The Habs walked into Toronto on a beautiful Saturday evening in April and did exactly what few people thought they would do. The Habs came away with a convincing 2 points against a team they had struggled mightily against this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Canadiens played with a physical chip on their shoulders as they wanted to extract revenge after a Toronto 5-1 blowout win at the ACC on April 13th. Although Toronto out hit the Canadiens 45-39, Montreal didnt shy away from the physical play but still stuck to their game plan which originates from playing with speed, hard work and effort in all 3 zones and being sound transitionally.

Both teams came out flying, with the Leafs generating the better of the scoring chances early. Agitator, Leo Komarov, baited Habs Andrei Markov into taking a penalty after making a questionable hit on Markov behind the net where it was clear that Markov wasn’t too happy about there being no call on the play. Toronto’s Phil Kessel made Markov pay for his blunder, scoring a nice wrist shot from just above the slot at 15:26 of the first period. Kessel’s goal seemingly sparked the Habs after the Markov penalty and the Habs later equalized in the period after a Jarred Tinordi hit leading to a turnover and Brendan Gallagher feeding Lars Eller who showed off his nice hands by tucking one past Reimer at 18:01 of the 1st period to grab momentum for the Habs.

The Habs came out for the 2nd period firing on all cylinders which led to an Andrei Markov goal at 4:19 of the 2nd period. The goal originated after a faceoff win and timely screen by Lars Eller, who played a fantastic game for Montreal. The Habs kept momentum after taking a 2-1 lead and scored again 5 minutes later too take a 3-1 lead on a goal by Calder candidate Brendan Gallagher, whos 15th of the year couldn’t have come at a more timely moment for Montreal. The Habs headed to the dressing room with a 3-1 lead after a thoroughly dominating second period, out shooting the Leafs 11-1.

The Habs didn’t lose a beat in the 3rd period and came out strong building up their lead to 4-1 at 2:25 of the 3rd on a nice snap-shot coming down the wing by Tomas Plekanecs, whom snapped a 12 game goalless drought with the tally. With the 4-1 defecit, it was expected that the Leafs would play their 4th line more and try to bait the habs into penalties or fights they knew they would lose. Luckily for the Habs, Frazer McLaren took an undisciplined 4 minute penalty at 3:05 of the 3rd period which led to a 10 minute misconduct and early trip to the showers. The rest of the 3rd period went by smoothly for both teams, until the final seconds where Leafs enforcer Colton Orr attempted to bait Ryan White into a fight he would surely lose, but the refs smartly had none of that and separated the two of them. Peter Budaj made 16 saves in his 8th victory of the year. Lars Eller was named 1st star after recording 1 goal and 2 assists while playing 16: 08 and winning 62% of his face offs.

The win puts the Habs in position to win the North East division on Sunday night after Boston lost in Overtime to Washington this evening. With a regulation/overtime/shootout victory for Ottawa over Boston on Sunday evening, the Habs will be crowned North East division for the first time since 2008.

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One Response to Eller, Gallagher, Habs Youth Shine in Habs Victory Over Leafs

  1. GO HABS GO!

    John McDougal April 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm Reply

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