Habs, Price Top Toronto 2-1
The Habs went into Saturday night’s game having lost three in a row and were coming of a long night of travel returning from Carolina, where they played on Friday. Fortunately for Montreal Alexander Radulov returned after missing two games with the flu, and Carey Price was back after a night off. Between the two of them they came up with the energy the Habs needed to send the Leafs back to Toronto with another loss. The Habs have now defeated the Leafs 12 straight times at home.
The Habs jumped out to a first period lead knowing that fatigue could take a toll later in the game. Paul Byron scored at 15:45 of the first, a goal that saw Shea Weber and Alexander Radulov pick up assists. For Byron it is his 7th of the year, putting him easily on pace to surpass his career high of 11 goals, set last year. The Left winger is performing well for the Habs after being claimed off waivers last season.
The second period saw the Canadiens extend their lead to 2-0 early on a goal by Alex Galchenyuk at the 32 second mark. The goal came on the powerplay, with Toronto’s Tyler Bozak in the box for tripping. The Leafs young players fought back though, and closed the game within 1 goal at the 8:47 mark when William Nylander beat Carey Price on passes from Leo Komarov and Auston Matthews. The young stars in Toronto are giving hope to Leafs fans who have grown tired of constant disappointment. The third period saw goalies Carey Price and Frederik Andersen both make big saves to ensure that 2-1 was the final score.
New Names Making Big Impact for Habs
Some off season moves by Habs GM Marc Bergevin had many fans questioning what direction the team was going in, but so far those moves seem to be paying off. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the play of Radulov, who made his return to the NHL after several years in the KHL. Originally the property of the Nashville Predators, Radulov was label as undisciplined both on and off the ice. Unable to come to an agreement with the Predators organization regarding his behavior Radulov left the team, electing to return to Russia following the 2011-12 NHL season. Radulov’s time in the KHL seems to have matured him and made him into a team player. The two assists he recorded against Toronto pushed his season total to 13, along with 3 goals so far.
The other big off season move was of course the much talked about trade that sent P.K. Subban to Nashville in exchange for their team captain Shea Weber. Fans on both sides were dubious of the trade as neither wanted to let their star player go. However it seems that the deal is working out for the Habs, as Weber now has 7 goals and 8 assists for his new team. In Nashville Subban has been quieter, but still a success, putting up 3 goals and 8 assists to date.
Next Up for the Habs, Ottawa Senators
The Canadiens are now off until Tuesday night when they will host the Ottawa Senators. This will be the second meeting between the two teams this year. Ottawa took the first encounter 4-3 in a shootout on October 15th. The Sens have not yet faced Carey Price this year, as the star goalie was suffering from the flu at the beginning of the season and missed the first game between the teams. Overall this season Ottawa is 10-7-1 and sits 4th in the Atlantic Division, while the Canadiens are now 14-3-2 and sit atop the NHL standings. Game time is 7:30PM EST.
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