DENVER - What did Carey Price think of Gabriel Landeskog's game-winning tally on Wednesday night being declared a good goal after video review?
"I disagree with the call," said Price, following a 2-1 loss to the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. "You get your abilities impeded when you make the move towards the puck, I think it's pretty clear. They had a different opinion on the contact, but that's what it is."
The six-time All-Star fully expected the League to overturn the call on the ice when the Avalanche captain lit the lamp just 35 seconds into the third period, but things didn't go that way.
Video: MTL@COL: Price robs Calvert with tough sprawling save
Like Price, head coach Claude Julien was frustrated with the League's decision that there was no goaltender interference on the play.
During his postgame press conference, the veteran bench boss insisted that if Landeskog hadn't come into contact with his starter, the contest would have remained deadlocked at one goal apiece at that point in time.
"It's 50-50 [when a goal is reviewed]. We don't really know what's good and what's not. We see the same thing, one game it counts and one game it doesn't," said Julien. "It's tough to figure out, but all I know is their player hit our goaltender first, and if he didn't hit him, I can guarantee that Carey would have seen the puck. It's tough, but that's the situation we're in right now in the NHL."
Reflecting on the defeat
After failing to show up against Boston earlier in the week, the Canadiens were committed to responding with a far better effort to begin their set of six straight road games.
Julien's troops delivered in that regard, putting up quite a fight in Colorado.
It's a step in the right direction, of course, but assistant captain Brendan Gallagher insists the group as a whole can still be far better.
"We've got to find ways to win games. We're in a 1-1 game on the road going into the third period, you can't give up a goal that quick. It's just what hockey's all about," stressed Gallagher, referencing Landeskog's marker. "There's important shifts, and we got behind. It was a pretty even game all around, and they just found a way to outwork us for one more goal. That was the difference in the game."
Nevertheless, the 26-year-old winger believes the Habs can learn from experiences like these, frustrating as they may be.
"That's part of what this is all about here, learning how to win tight games. We've done it a bit this year. I think you can always continue to learn, always continue to get better at it, and this was an example we failed," explained Gallagher. "Hopefully the next time we find a way to win the third period. We want to win on the road and these points are critical."
It just so happens that Gallagher was the lone Hab to solve Avalanche goaltender Phillip Grubauer in the Mile High City.
His team-leading 15th goal of the season snapped the Canadiens' eight-game goal drought with the man advantage.
Video: MTL@COL: Gallagher redirects Petry's shot for PPG
Hudon, Mete return in Colorado
After watching nine straight games from the press box as a healthy scratch, Charles Hudon returned to the lineup and logged 9:26 of ice time in the loss.
While he didn't register his name on the scoresheet, Hudon was still pleased with his first taste of NHL action since November 27.
"I created more chances instead of just staying in my zone. That's a positive for me, and we just have to find a way to put it in," said Hudon, who appeared in his 100th career NHL game on Wednesday night. "We just have to bounce back. I just have to keep doing the same things."
For his part, defenseman Victor Mete spent 12:29 patrolling the Canadiens' blue line and chipped in with two shots on goal.
It was his first game back with the big club since being recalled from the AHL's Laval Rocket on Monday night.
The Canadiens will be back in action on Thursday night against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena.
It will mark Max Domi's return to the Valley of the Sun after being acquired by the Habs during the offseason.