About last night … Islanders score late heartbreaker
|Montreal Gazette 14 Mar 2019 at 23:23|
A dejected Brendan Gallagher hangs his head as Anthony Beauvillier, left, and Anders Lee celebrate the Islanders captain s winning goal late in the third period Thursday night in Uniondale, N.Y. Bruce Bennett / Getty Images
Was that it, the goal that sunk the season?
The Canadiens aren’t dead yet. They’re still just outside a Wildcard playoff berth, with a chance to climb back in.
But man, that loss to the Islanders was a heartbreaker.
It started badly. The home team had all the early first-period jump, and only Carey Price’s customary brilliance kept it scoreless through 20.
Then Price’s teammates came to life. The Canadiens had 16 second-period shots on Thomas Greiss, one of which – by Jordie Benn, of all people – eluded the Islanders’ goaltender.
Price had been beaten early in the period by an Adam Pelech point shot off some home-team pressure that recalled the Islanders’ early dominance.
Then the third period was fairly even, and Canadiens fans began to envision a minimum Overtime point that would have pushed the team back up past Columbus into a tenuous Wildcard berth.
One horrific screw-up dashed that scenario.
With just three minutes left in regulation, Jonathan Drouin’s cross-ice pass eluded Max Domi. Then Brett Kulak made an ill-advised pinch, Domi took a tumble and the home team was away, two-on-one.
Unfortunately for the Canadiens, the two were Matthew Barzal and Anders Lee.
Jeff Petry, the one Canadien back, did his best. But Barzal’s pass and Lee’s shot were perfect, and Price had no chance on the winning goal.