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Post-game notebook – March 4

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
ANAHEIM – In Wednesday’s post-game notebook, P.K. Subban praises a young netminder, Max Pacioretty talks scoring on the road, and Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn reflect on their Canadiens debut.

Tip of the hat: The Canadiens simply couldn’t solve Ducks netminder John Gibson on Wednesday night. When Alex Galchenyuk finally did late in the third period, it was far too late. Gibson finished the game with 37 saves, pacing Anaheim to its fourth straight victory. Despite suffering their second consecutive road defeat, however, P.K. Subban insists the effort was certainly there.

“I don’t think we played a bad game. I think we did some things well. We had some opportunities to score some goals, and you’ve got to give their goaltender credit. He made some big saves at the right times,” admitted Subban, who was the most utilized player on both teams, logging 26:43 of ice time, just one second more than his partner, Andrei Markov. “I thought we did a good job of putting pucks to the net. When you look at the shots, we got enough to win this game. We had enough opportunities to win it, but the pucks just didn’t go in for us.”

Significant scoring slump: There’s no denying that the Canadiens have struggled to light the lamp away from the friendly confines of the Bell Centre for the better part of the 2014-15 campaign. That’s certainly been the case over the last two games, as Michel Therrien’s troops didn’t manage to find their scoring touch in either San Jose or Anaheim. While the Canadiens rank sixth in the League with 100 goals in 33 home games, they currently rank 27th with just 72 goals in 31 road contests. That’s nowhere near good enough for a hockey club looking to close out the regular season in style and ready themselves for a serious postseason run. Fortunately, the CH has a definite plan to rectify the situation going forward.

“We’ve had a lack of scoring on the road and I think it’s because we play a little bit too much on the perimeter,” confided Max Pacioretty, who registered seven of the Canadiens’ 38 shots on goal on Wednesday night. “Obviously, the shots are there and we had a couple of chances to score, but I think when we’re playing against a big team like that, we’ve got to get between the dots and find ways to jam pucks in.”

New beginnings: Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn saw game action with the Canadiens on Wednesday night for the first time since being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres at the trade deadline.

“It wasn’t the first game I wanted, but it was fun to be out there,” offered Mitchell, who chipped in with two shots and two hits while logging just under 10 minutes of ice time against Anaheim. “I don’t want to be a minus-2 and not play the last 10 minutes of the game. That’s the way it went, and hopefully on Thursday night against Los Angeles I get a chance to start over and it will be a better outcome.”

Mitchell saw time on the Canadiens’ fourth line alongside Flynn, who enjoyed a stellar debut of his own, particularly when it came to besting Ducks centermen in the faceoff circle.

“My performance in the faceoff circle was one of the bright spots in my play,” shared Flynn, who won seven of his 10 draws on Wednesday night, while also amassing two blocked shots. “I won all of the faceoffs, except one, on my strong side. That made things a little bit easier.”

For his part, head coach Michel Therrien was pleased with their effort.

“Flynn was good in the faceoff circle. I think he brought energy. It was the same thing with Mitchell, too,” praised Therrien, whose squad will battle the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night at Staples Center. “I really liked the way they played.”

Matt Cudzinowski is a writer for

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