MONTREAL – The Habs didn’t get the two points they were after, but in the race for the postseason, they know one is still better than nothing.
No one knows better than the Canadiens how quickly a game can change when a team starts clawing back in the third period. Having seen a few late leads of their own slip away this season, they weren’t about to let their visitors get away without a fight on Wedesday night. Despite trailing 3-1 heading into the final frame, the Habs managed to rally back with a 10-shot, two-goal performance to earn themselves a crucial point in the standings.
“It definitely doesn’t feel like a win, but we got one point and it’s a big one point for us,” shared Josh Gorges, who blocked four shots and finished with a plus-1 differential in the 4-3 shootout loss. “Something we talked about during the second intermission was this game was far from over and it was about time we came back on a team. We’ve given up a few leads in the third and we showed a lot of character, a lot of heart and determination to fight back against a good hockey team.”
Forced to watch his team’s previous 57 games from the sidelines while recovering from offseason surgery, Ryan White put some of the lessons he’s learned from the press box into action on Wednesday night. After enjoying a successful conditioning stint in Hamilton, the 23-year-old winger wasted little time making his presence felt in his first game of 2011-12.
Dropping the gloves just four shifts into his season against Adam McQuaid, White managed to pick up right where he left off last year.
“I felt great. It was good to get down there to Hamilton and get some games in and get myself a little more game ready. I felt a little bit more comfortable out there that’s for sure,” admitted the Brandon, MB native after putting in a solid 9:09 of ice time on the night. “It felt like we were still in the playoffs last year. The building was loud, the guys were playing well and our bench was into it. It’s nice to get back in the game but tough that we didn’t get the ‘W’.”
They may not have finished with the ‘W’, but thanks to some late game heroics by the Erik Cole-David Desharnais-Max Pacioretty line in particular, the Habs didn’t leave the Bell Centre empty-handed.
After seeing Pacioretty bring the Canadiens within one off a perfect feed from Desharnais, Cole picked off a Bruins pass before deking out Tim Thomas for the equalizer.
“The effort in the third period was definitely there. We were rolling and everyone was on the same page. That’s the way our team is capable of playing hockey,” stressed Pacioretty, whose line has now combined for 17 points in the last four games. “If we’re capable of outplaying the Bruins that much in the third period, we could have done it for the whole game and we would have had more success. That’s the way we need to play from start to finish.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com
Postgame comments: Plekanec, Gorges, Gill, Cunneyworth, White
Boxscore: Canadiens - Bruins
The Numbers Game - Feb. 15