MONTREAL – The Habs’ win over the Devils didn’t come easy, but that’s what made the two points that came with it even sweeter.
After stringing together back-to-back wins in their second and third games of the season, the Canadiens knew their biggest challenge of 2012-13 would be the undefeated New Jersey Devils waiting to greet them at the Bell Centre Sunday night. Not only did the home team hand the Devils their first loss, but they put their character on display while they did it.
Stealing the show once again was the line of Brandon Prust, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendon Gallagher. After Galchenyuk potted his first goal as a Hab – not to mention in the NHL – last week against the Panthers, the line made sure to take care of its other two members on Sunday night.
“It was a really exciting moment, I’ll have to thank Chucky for that pass,” shared Gallagher, on the subject of the laser beam he received from his linemate, who along with Prust have developed chemistry at an impressive rate. “All I had to do was put it on the net. It’s great that we’re getting to have these experiences together. We talk a lot about that stuff and we get along really well both on and off the ice.”
Not only can Gallagher enjoy the fact that his first marker in the league will probably make more than a few highlight reels, but he can also bask in the fact that it was against one of the greatest goaltenders to ever play the game.
“When I stop to think about it, it’s pretty amazing that I got to score my first goal against Martin Brodeur,” admitted the 20-year-old winger. “It’ll be a nice hockey story to have in the future. He was my favorite goaltender growing up. To be able to score one on him was amazing and being able to get those two points made it even better.”
A few stalls over and a few years older, Gallagher’s linemate Brandon Prust, was enjoying the moment himself. He may not have scored his first goal in the NHL, but the team’s biggest offseason signing did net his first as a Hab on Sunday night and it clearly meant a lot.
“Scoring that goal was obviously something I’ll never forget. It was a big goal for us too and put us up by two goals, so it felt good to finally get that out of the way and hopefully there’s many more to come,” said Prust, who like Gallagher was assisted by their line’s 18-year-old center.
“They’re fast guys, really speedy so we’re always moving pucks quickly and supporting each other. We’ve talking out there and communicating a lot and I think that’s been the key to our success,” he continued, on their early season impact. “I just try and create some energy and some room out there and make sure I’m talking to them and the rest is up to them. They’re smart, they played the game and they’ve been great so far.”
While scoring his first goal in the NHL was naturally a milestone for the young forward, Gallagher’s focus was evidently with the rest of his team’s – on making sure their success as a group continues to roll.
“This group obviously has something to prove. Playing against a team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals was a big game for us and really gave us a chance to see where we’re at,” underlined Gallagher, who picked up his second point in four games on Sunday night. “We gave up the two goal leads a couple of times, but we managed to bounce back, show some character and got a big overtime win.
“I’m happy to have been able to contribute,” he concluded. “But I was even happier to see Marky [Markov] score that overtime goal.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
Game highlights: Devils vs Canadiens
Boxscore: Jan 27., 2013 vs. New Jersey
The Numbers Game - January 27, 2013