Michel Therrien said he was disappointed that the Canadiens didn’t get a win against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.
Instead, Therrien should have been making plans to go up the steps of St. Joseph’s Oratory on his knees to thank the Almighty for a single point on a night when the Canadiens were outplayed for 59 minutes.
It was the final minute of regulation that allowed the Canadiens to salvage a point. The Habs, who had been outshot 26-14 to that point, pulled goaltender Peter Budaj and were rewarded when Brian Gionta scored on a backhander with 27.3 seconds remaining in regulation.
“The execution was not there and that was for both teams,” said Therrien, who saw the chance to steal a second point disappear when Gustav Nyquist scored the winner at 4:32 of the overtime period.
“We put ourselves in a position to get a point and you’re always disappointed when you get to overtime and you don’t get the (extra) point. We were hoping for a shootout, but it didn’t happen.”
Budaj, who has been cast in the role of No. 1 goaltender while Carey Price deals with a groin injury, did his part as he stopped 28 shots and said the Canadiens have to build on their play in the third period.
“In games like that, when we didn’t play well enough to generate any offence in the first two periods, you just have to hang in there on defence,” said Budaj. “We picked it up in the third period. We didn’t play well in the first two periods, but we know it. They were winning the battles and we weren’t. It’s always nice to get a point out of that, but we have to realize that 20 minutes of hockey isn’t going to cut it.”
Therrien started juggling his lines in the third period and the tying goal came after he teamed Alex Galchenyuk with Gionta and Tomas Plekanec. Galchenyuk, who has been on the sidelines since he broke his hand on Jan. 6, seemed to provide some offensive jump.
“I got my legs under me in the third period,” said Galchenyuk, who had two shots on goal. “The first two periods were OK, but I was trying to get back into the rhythm of the game. You can practise all you want, but it’s not the same as playing a game.”
Jarred Tinordi marked his first NHL appearance since Oct. 19 with a solid performance. The 6-foot-6 youngster displayed more confidence moving the puck, delivered a few hits and used his size to good advantage.
“I’m a big guy with a long stick and I tried to use it,” said Tinordi. “That’s one of the things the coaches in Hamilton have me working on.”
“They outplayed us, but the compete level was there, especially in the third period,” said Tinordi. “We may have been a little lucky to get a point, but at this time of the year, every point counts.”
The day started out on a down note as Price left the morning skate after facing one shot.
Therrien said the goaltender aggravated an earlier injury during the Olympics. He said Price played through what is believed to be a groin injury and backstopped Canada to a gold medal.
After Wednesday’s setback, Therrien said Price would not accompany the team to Pittsburgh for Thursday’s game and his status would be reviewed prior to Saturday’s home game against the Maple Leafs.
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette