Tomas Tatar – Phillip Danault – Brendan Gallagher
Jonathan Drouin – Nick Suzuki – Joel Armia
Paul Byron – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Artturi Lehkonen
Dale Weise – Max Domi – Jordan Weal
Ben Chiarot – Shea Weber
Brett Kulak – Jeff Petry
Xavier Ouellet – Victor Mete
Carey Price – Charlie Lindgren
Jake Evans, Ryan Poehling, Charles Hudon, Christian Folin, Noah Juulsen, Victor Olofsson, Cayden Primeau, Michael McNiven
Injuries/Unfit to Play
Remember? It was the Pittsburgh Penguins who fought against a best-of-three qualifying series arguing that Carey Price could uniquely tip the scales in favor of the Canadiens. Now you know what they were worried about.
The Habs had no business being close after the first period, never-mind leading the game. Shots on goal were 10-1 for Pittsburgh over the first six minutes, finishing 18-6 after 20 minutes. Shot attempts were 29-12 as the Penguins completely dominated Montreal.
Thank you Carey Price. He finished the night with 39 saves.
As far as the regulation time offence, look no further than the two youngest players in the lineup: Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki. And with the much ballyhooed Phillip Danault spending a good deal of his night in the penalty box, Suzuki also contributed on the defensive side, killing penalties, including a 92-second five-on-three disadvantage.
Touted as a defensive specialist, Danault, was on the ice for both Pittsburgh goals.
Artturi Lehkonen, Joel Armia, Shea Weber, Ben Chiarot and Jeff Petry each did yeoman work on the penalty-kill as Montreal took 14 minutes in penalties. But it was Price who was their best penalty-killer on this night. The Habs cannot continue to hand so many opportunities to such a high-powered offence.
This was not the Canadiens game plan that we were used to seeing during the regular season. Speed and aggressively pressuring the puck carrier was exchanged for passive system that clogged the neutral zone. At times, it seemed to frustrate the Penguins but it wasn’t affording the Habs many opportunities.
If this is the recipe that Claude Julien has settled upon, is it sustainable? We’ll see on Monday for game two of the series
Plus / Minus
▲▲ Carey Price
▲ Nick Suzuki, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Jeff Petry, Artturi Lehkonen, Brett Kulak, Joel Armia, Shea Weber
▼ Xavier Ouellet, Jonathan Drouin, Victor Mete, Phillip Danault, Dale Weise