Picking the first star at Bell Center Tuesday night was not a hard job.
Carolina goalkeeper Curtis McElhinney finished 48 of 49 shots to win glory as Hurricanes hit Canadiens 2-1. Victor Rask and Trevor van Riemsdyk beat Canada's goalkeeper Carey Price on deflections, while Phillip Danault was the only Canadien who put a puck past McElhinney. The prize stopped 20 of the 22 shots he met.
Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk was named the second star even though it was pointless and minus-1 and Danault was the third star.
"He made some saves," said Canada's Brendan Gallagher after the match of McElhinney. "But it's kind of easy way out. I think we have to make it harder on him." You must also work with the goalkeeper. "He is no different than any other player." You must find a way to work with him. a way to get pucked by him and I think it's an area we can see tonight and get better. "
Canadiens saw their record fall to 11-9-5 with the loss and they are now winless in their last five games (0-3-2). Canadiens also falls out of a playoff position, with hurricanes that improve their record to 12-9-3 to move into the second and last wildcard venue at the Eastern Conference. Canadiens and Hurricanes have both 27 points, but Carolina has played a smaller game and has another victory.
"It's tough," Gallagher said about the losing step. "It was one of the things we were pretty good at the beginning of the year once we lost we bounced back with a victory. And it's not like our game has gone huge. The longer you go in the season, the more difficult these games will win. I think this is where we can probably dig a little more like a group, understand that it gets harder and that we got up our game a bit and up on our level of competition and find ways to win those close games.
"Points every night is so important," added Gallagher. "You look around the league, I think pretty much everyone still knows that they have a shot to make the play. When you get that situation you will play hungry teams and for us right now, I think we probably got our desperation level to finish this little skiing we are on. "
Canadiens Nicolas Deslauriers and Jonathan Drouin missed both opportunities to play the game and Max Domi beat the record with less than two minutes left in the third period with goalkeeper Carey Price being drawn for an additional attacker. Gallagher said that Canadians fed the Bell Center amount after Danault's goal at 9:29 in the third period cut the hurricane's leadership in half.
"Absolutely," said Gallagher. "It's something we're always talking about. A couple of games here in a row, you just need to get the first and the audience gets into it and it's impacting us."
Unfortunately for Canadiens, they could not get a second shot by McElhinney.
Man Mountain returns
Canadia's defender Shea Weber played her first game in almost a year after recovering from foot and knee surgery, but you would never know that he had gone so long by watching him.
Weber logged a game high 25:19 of ice age, picked up an assist and was plus-1 with three shots on goal and a hit.
Weber received a nice ovation from Bell Center fans when he got on the ice for his first shift early in the first period.
"It was special," Weber said. "Obviously, I was nervous about the match and keen to get my first move out of the way so it definitely helped."
Said Gallagher about Weber: "I think you noticed him over the ice. It seems that the time we spent in our own zone was definitely less. His presence in front of our network was also seen. I think his shot … he beat at least five or six pretty well one hour tonight. You give him so many opportunities, eventually they will start. I only think every aspect of the game and then he is obviously leader of our group so it was nice to get him back. "
It was Weber's first match since the NHL 100 Classic outdoor game by December 16 in Ottawa and also his first match wearing "C" as the captain.
"Weby is just a very strong, good-bye player," said David Schlemko, who logged at Ice Hockey at. 20:53 as Webers defense partner. "He always seems to be in the right position. He likes to talk, I like talking out there so it makes it easier to get back to the puck and move it out of your zone. Of course, with his shot he is a threat in the O zone and every time I get the puck, I see if he's open to release it. "
The price goes back to white pillows
The price went back to the white pillows that he started the season with after going 2-4-2 while wearing red.
"I just tried something new and I liked it so I went back to white," said Price after the match. "I'll probably go back to red after this."
The prize had hit the night when he plunged Hurricane Warren Foegele behind the net during the second period.
"It was just stuck on the boards," Price said. "It ended in my feet and in my feet, so I hit him only. I do not think I beat him very hard, but he must not balance or anything."
The price now has a 7-7-4 record with a 3.11 target-to-average and a .897 save percent.
Power play is fighting again
Canada's hope was that Weber would give them a boost on their power game, ranked 30 in the NHL title of the game, but they went 0-against-3 against the hurricanes.
"I think Shea Weber is a pretty big weapon for any power game," coach Claude Julien said after Tuesday morning skating. "I think other teams recognize it. Maybe it opens some things we did not have as open as before. If not, then he's definitely a guy who can really shoot the puck and have been good at the power game forever. that we all need to simplify our games sometimes. It's about moving the puck fast, it's about making simple games. Every now and then I find that we're looking for the nice or lucky games that often cause us trouble. is about simplifying certain things and being a little more efficient. "
Sa Weber after the match game: "We just have to get on the same side. We work with it." We work before training, during training. So I think we'll find out. But from now on, it does not just look like it should be. "
Quote of the day
Rookie Jesperi Kotkaniemi was asked after the morning laughing how it is to stand in front of the net on the power game during training when Weber turns up instead of a slap shot.
"I almost peeed in my pants," said Kotkaniemi. "It's quite scary. You should try it."
Relief for Petry
Web's return will reduce the workload Jeff Petry had when he filled the No. 1 defense role in the Captain's absence.
Heading in Tuesday's game, Petry Canadiens led in ice-age with an average of 24:57 per game.
"I liked it .. I enjoyed playing the heavy minutes," said Petry after the morning tax to replace Weber. "But I think to have him back and ease the load a little will benefit my game.
"I think everyone did a good job and noticed that he would be out to start the year, that we all needed to be good and pick up the strokes with his absence," said Petry. "It urged other guys to get up.
"I think it's good for our entire team," Petry said that Weber had returned. "I think he is a guy who leads leadership and he only comes to the presence of ice, which I think will be of benefit to us."
After the match, Julien had praise for Petry, who recorded 22:53 of ice age against hurricanes and had five shots on goal, along with three hits while they were parade with Brett Kulak.
"Jeff was a good soldier for us on the first couple," Julien said. "You can say 1A, 1B (with Weber). It's good to have the two guys on the right side which undoubtedly stabilize the other pair. Because Petey gets a real strong second right D as far as I'm concerned."
Domi kept the distance again
Domi was held off the record third, straight game against the hurricanes.
Domi has only been held outside the scoring list six times in 25 matches this season and leads Canadiens in points with 11-15-26 totals. Before this mini-fall, Domi had an 11-point strike.
Hudon puts track record for hits
Charles Hudon put a Canadian record when he registered 13 matches on Saturday's 3-2 loss for Boston Bruins at Bell Center, but he only had two against the hurricanes.
Hudon's performance against Bruins marked only the 26th time an NHL player had 13 hits in a single game since the league began to track the statistics in the 1997-98 season.
The former Canadiens record was 11 hits, shared by Nicolas Deslauriers, Mike Komisarek and Chad Kilger. The NHL record of 17 hits is shared by Boston Bruin Captain Zdeno Chara and Gary Roberts.
Canadiens will have day off Wednesday, followed by Thursday and Friday practice scheduled at 11 am at Bell Sports Complex in Brossard to prepare for back-to-back weekend games at Bell Center against New York Rangers on Saturday (7 pm, SN , TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio) and San Jose Sharks on Sunday (7 pm, SN1, RDS, TSN 690 Radio).