NASHVILLE -- With a road point in one of the NHL's most raucous arenas, and a solid performance in goal from a newcomer, the Habs left Music City with some positive notes to build from.
Defensemen Jordie Benn and Joe Morrow were the Canadiens goalscorers in Nashville -- the latter forcing overtime with just 56 seconds remaining in regulation to secure the single point.
Video: MTL@NSH: Benn wires a strong wrister past Rinne
"We played the way we wanted to play, but [the Predators] won the skills competition. Sometimes those go either way," admitted captain Max Pacioretty, as the Habs couldn't find the back of the net in the tie-breaker. "We liked the resiliency we showed to be able to come back with a little bit of bounce at the end, but we're not looking for moral victories. We're trying to get points wherever we can."
Even as far as Florida, it turns out.
Acquired from the Panthers off waivers last week, Antti Niemi put forth a solid 31-save effort through 65 minutes of play in his first start for Montreal.
"Nemo played awesome," dished Pacioretty. "A lot of big saves. Especially in the first period. He allowed us to gain some momentum and score that goal. He played great and we wanted to win for him because of that strong play that he showed."
Both of the Predators' goals came on the power play, as Niemi otherwise held the fort at even strength.
"We needed some energy in goal tonight, and that's what he brought," explained head coach Claude Julien, who opted to go with the Finnish netminder after giving the last eight starts to Charlie Lindgren. "He was very good tonight. He gave us a chance to win the game by making some huge saves. We had a fresh goaltender available, and he helped [earn us the point]."
Video: MTL Recap: Habs tie game late, lose in SO
FIRST GAME FOR JERABEK
What should have been a special night for injured defenseman Shea Weber instead became a memorable one for another rearguard in Nashville.
Jakub Jerabek was called up from the Laval Rocket early Wednesday morning, and joined his teammates at Bridgestone Arena in time to make his NHL debut.
"It was a great experience, and I really enjoyed it," admitted the Czech blue liner, who started the season in the AHL. "I got some more shifts in the second period, which helped me feel more comfortable. If I play more games I will continue to get better."
Jerabek was notably on the ice during the final minute of regulation, and also saw 3-on-3 time in OT.
Needless to say, Julien was pleased with what he saw from the youngster.
"I liked the way he carried himself tonight. I liked his game," concluded the Habs bench boss. "Obviously everyone makes mistakes here and there, but I thought he was good tonight."