NASHVILLE – Peter Budaj and Max Pacioretty come up big as the Habs storm to their second overtime victory in as many games.
Saturday night in Nashville, Pacioretty, David Desharnais and Erik Cole combined for some solid chemistry, boosting the Habs to the second win of their two game western conference swing. The Canadiens’ No. 51 opened up the scoring for the Habs with a much needed goal in a game where they were squaring off against one of the NHL’s elite netminders.
“I managed to get the puck and tried a little move. I ended up stopping in front of the net and the puck ricocheted off me and in. A bit lucky for sure, but I’ll take it,” grinned Desharnais of his third goal of the season and his first of two points on the night.
“Things went well tonight. It’s been a few games now that we’ve been working really hard around the net but weren’t scoring much. It was great to finally be paid off,” added Desharnais of the team’s recent efforts in the offensive zone. “Nashville is a team that plays hard and works constantly and we knew that going in. It was our mission to make sure we outworked them and that’s what we did tonight.”
Another plus-2 on the Canadiens’ scoresheet, Pacioretty helped the Habs enjoy a happy flight home, putting the game on ice for the road team 2:31 into OT thanks to some hard work from former fellow-Bulldogs Desharnais and P.K. Subban.
“It was an awesome setup by P.K.. Taking the puck to the net when it’s 4-on-4 – he was active. He could have played passive and let them get the puck off my rebound there, but he stepped up and made a great play, so a lot of credit to him,” pointed out Pacioretty. Subban’s efforts on the game-winner marked the second time in two games that a Habs defenseman jumping in to the play resulted in a Canadiens victory.
“My job on this team is to pitch in offensively. Especially right now, when we’re dealing with injuries so I’m doing my best to step up and I think our whole line did a pretty great job of that tonight,” continued No. 67 of his work with Cole and Desharnais. “I think it’s good having the two big guys with Davy in the middle. We balance out each other pretty well and hopefully we can all keep it going.”
Stepping into the crease for his second start as a Hab, Peter Budaj provided all the key saves the Canadiens needed in Nashville, boosting his career-record against the Preds to 7-5.
“The only time you really feel comfortable is after you get the win, but on the whole, I felt great tonight,” admitted Budaj who turned aside 25 shots along with his share of quality scoring chances. “I didn’t face many shots in the first period and in the second we had a few breakdowns and they scored a shorthander, which was a momentum swing for them. After that I thought we really stuck with it and had an excellent road game,” added the Slovak. “The guys played great in front of me, it was a huge OT goal from Patch and a big, big two points for the team.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
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