Game Two Recap: Canadiens 4 Rangers 3 OT

Radulov in tight on Lundqvist in Game 2. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis, Getty Images)

 

The talk surrounding The Montreal Canadiens after a 2-0 Rangers win in game one had fans all saying the same thing; “The  Canadiens can’t score”. I don’t disagree, but comparing the two teams, the Habs have the advantage in almost every category. I expected the goals to come in game two, and they did exactly that. 

It didn’t take long for things to get going offensively for the Canadiens. Four minutes and five seconds into the first period, Phillip Danault circled around a stickless Henrik Lundqvist, passes right to Jeff Petry who has all the time in the world to wire this one home.

1-0 Canadiens.

The Rangers were held to very few scoring chances in the first period until an awkward pass to Nathan Beaulieu lead to a turnover at the blue line and then this gorgeous goal.

Although Nathan Beaulieu is the scapegoat for many fans, the play he made at the blue line was not his fault. An awkward pass from Andrew Shaw deflected off of his skate right out to Michael Grabner’s stick. There was nothing he could possibly do.

Anyway, 1-1.

Two minutes later, Brendan Gallagher fetches his own rebound from behind the net, feeds it out front to Paul Byron who buries home his first career playoff goal.

2-1 Canadiens.

Moving onto the second period now, blown coverage by the Beaulieu-Nesterov pairing (which was dreadful) allows Rick Nash to have an uncontested path to the net. This was the second time in the second frame that the Canadiens allowed Rick Nash skate right through. He roofs it top corner to even the game up.

2-2.

Five minutes later, Mats Zuccarello re-directs a shot from Brady Skjei giving the Rangers a one goal lead.

3-2 Rangers

The third period didn’t do much for the Canadiens until they pulled Price for the extra attacker.

(Turn volume up)

Tomas Plekanec comes up clutch in game two, tying it with 17.3 seconds to go. That goal alone is worth every last penny in that six million dollar deal.

In overtime, there was some significant ice tilt in the Rangers zone. The Canadiens were relentless in overtime and the Rangers only got one grade A chance to extend their series lead. A miraculous save by Price down in the Canadiens’ end saved the game.

That was the one of the few scoring chances the Habs allowed the Rangers to have. Aside from that, they mostly came from the Habs who pressed in the opposing zone for the majority of that overtime period. And with under two minutes left in the first overtime, Alexander Radulov scored the game winner.

 

Post game thoughts: Negatives

Nikita Nesterov

Can we have Jonathan Racine back please?

Ok we won’t go that far but seriously. The Nikita Nesterov trade was one that many applauded seeing as Marc Bergevin gave up very little to get him. Regardless, Nesterov has been a major dissapoinment. His indecisiveness has been an issue since day one, he panics in his own end and he often shies away from physical confrontation. Pairing him with Nathan Beaulieu, a player still finding his groove isn’t the best scenario for playoff hockey. It’s looking like he will be a healthy scratch for game three in New York and that Brandon Davidson will take his place.

The fourth line

Andreas Martinsen, Steve Ott and Dwight King have been major disappointments since joining the Les Boys at the deadline. Martinsen, Ott and King lack the speed and the strong defensive play needed for tight playoff checking hockey. Both Ott and Martinsen were unable to surpass 30% in Corsi For percentage throughout the first and second period. Meaning they allowed more shot attempts from the opposition compared to how many they created. Nearing the end of the second period, Ott had a subpar 25% CF and Martinsen had an atrocious 18% CF. These three players saw only five minutes of ice time in overtime and it seemed to have helped the team greatly. There’s no question that the intensity and pace of the game increased after that. It’s looking like Andreas Martinsen will be sitting out in game three. Torrey Mitchell takes his place. The fourth line is expected to be King-Ott-Mitchell.

Post game thoughts: Positives

Tomas Plekanec

Thats right, Tomas Plekanec. Clutch game tying goal aside, Tomas Plekanec played a really solid game on Friday night. Although his offensive output has diminished over the years, his defensive game still remains among the best of all Canadiens forwards. He finished the night with one goal, one assist, three shots on goal and he went 17/27 in the faceoff dot.

Resurgence of Alex Galchenyuk

Claude Julien switched some things around going into the third period. He demoted Dwight King to the fourth line and moved Chucky back to the third line with Artturi Lehkonen and Andrew Shaw. As I mentioned earlier, the pace and intensity of the game increased big time once that switch was made. Galchenyuk can be an elite goal scorer if given the chance. Although placing him with Lehkonen and Shaw wouldn’t be my first choice, it’s a step in the right direction for Galchenyuk. Furthermore, at practice Sunday morning, Claude Julien confirmed that Galchenyuk would re-take his natural position and actually centre the third line.

Playoff Radulov

During game one and a little bit of game two, I found playoff Radulov to be a little bit underwhelming. That was untill he completely turned his game around and came up clutch in game two. The Russian forward finished the night with one goal (game winner), two assists, six shots on goal, seven hits and 23:20 of ice time.

Traffic and attack the net

The Canadiens approach to game one was passive. They couldn’t seem to solve Henrik Lundqvist. Not to say he didn’t play well (he didn’t). But Les Boys seemed to have a difficulty really testing the Rangers netminder. Most of their shots came from the perimeter. Following game one, Claude Julien and his troops practiced tips and redirects for the majority of practice. The Rangers attempted only 29 shots. The Habs on the other hand went full throttle and put 31 shots on net.

The Canadiens look to take their first lead of the best of seven series. They play the Rangers Sunday night at 7:00PM eastern time in New York.

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Twitter: PatrickTallon81

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One Response to Game Two Recap: Canadiens 4 Rangers 3 OT

  1. i could not believe we had 5 players playing that were not on the team before the trade deadline. Benn was the only one deserving. Martinsens possession numbers suck as bad here as they did in Colorado..Nesterov is a major liability.glad to see Mitchell taking his place& glad to see davidson getting a shot. we need Emelin back for his physical play and really glad to see Chucky back at center on the 3rd line.
    some player decisions leave a lot to be desired….still can not understand how almost 20% of players playing were not even on the teams roster till the trade deadline..really scary..we also need to give MacCarron a shot or send him down to AHL so he can play

    bay bye April 16, 2017 at 5:47 pm Reply

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