Carey Price made his first fake-season start yesterday night, facing the Detroit Red Wings. Cedrick Desjardins was his backup, as Marc Denis and Jaroslav Halak had their starts in Halifax and Roberval.
Detroit's Thomas Holmstrom gave the first lead to his team with a power-play goal in the first period. Rookie Matt D'Agostini tied the game in the second, before another power play gave the Red Wings the lead again late in the period.
Another Montreal prospect, Thomas Beauregard, revived the chances of the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge, bringing the game into overtime and shootout.
Carey Price kept the net for the first two periods, flying high with 25 saves. He gave his spot to Cedrick Desjardins in the third, who was perfect with nine saves.
It must have been a memorable night for Desjardins—his first start in the Montreal uniform, facing the Stanley Cup-defending champions. To make it even better, he had to face Pavel Datsyuk, Marian Hossa, Ville Leino, and Thomas Holmstrom in the shootout.
On the Montreal's side, Andrei Markov finally ended the game after Matt D'Agostini, Thomas Beauregard, and Chris Higgins were all refused access by Jimmy Howard.
Final score: 3-2 for the Montreal Canadiens.
Notes from aside and post-game thoughts
Robert Lang had a good night, getting an assist on both of the Montreal's goals. He's also been implicated in the brawl following Mathieu Carle's hit. Although he did not hit punch anybody, he had his angry face on, pushing around and helping his teammates. I've started to really like this guy. Welcome!
Desjardins and Price were impressive in net. Price had to face the Red Wings attacks while his teammates were wandering around trying to get some offense going. He said in his post-game interview that he felt lighter, with more energy. After dropping more than 20 pounds, I bet he did feel lighter!
Desjardins currently has no other choice than to aspire for a spot in Hamilton, unless both Denis and Halak get hurt. But the 22-year-old goalie did impress the coaching staff, especially in facing Datsyuk in the shootouts. Attaboy!
A little injury update
Mathieu Carle was seriously hit early in the first period. The young and promising defenceman laid on the ice, unconscious for about five minutes. Carried out on a stretcher, he was able to talk and move his fingers, on his way to the Hospital. The team recently announced that he suffers a cerebral concussion.
Just one thing, Mathieu—keep your head up!
Last year at the rookie camp, Carle hurt his knee during his first preseason game, facing the Penguins. That injury sent him directly to Hamilton. Talk about misfortune! Guys, this really gets me depressed, I was so looking forward to see him in the roster. Sigh.
Guillaume Latendresse was also injured on the hip and did not come back after the second period. But the coach declared there was nothing to worry about.
Alex Tanguay, Robert Lang, Chris Higgins and Guillaume Latendresse joined Kovalev, Hamlrik, Brisebois, Laraque and Koivu on the sideline. However, nothing is really serious, says the coach.
They all skated at the morning practice, except Koivu. The Captain's right foot is evaluated on a day-to-day basis.
Red Wings Captain Nicklas Lidstrom suffered a nose fracture. He got hit by a puck early in the third, and is expected to miss at least the next three games.
Last night's individual leaders
Time on ice: Francis Bouillon: 32 minutes.
Mike Komisarek, 29.
Andrei Markov, 25.
Rookie P.K. Subban, 21. (Lucky guy!)
Shots on goal: Matt D'Agostini (3).
Hits: Francis Bouillon (6). With 30 minutes on the ice, he did have the time!)
Blocked Shots: Matt D'Agostini, Mike Komisarek, and P.K. Subban (3).
The next game will be at the Bell Centre, tomorrow, with the visit of our great neighbours, the Ottawa Senators. It seems one of the duo of Halak and Denis will get the start, and the Kosty-Pleky-Kovy line should be back together.