In the Habs Room: It s nice when everyone contributes
|Montreal Gazette 07 Dec 2018 at 08:06|
OTTAWA â Claude Julien said the Canadiens âwerenât quite thereâ in the first period of Thursday nightâs game against the Ottawa Senators , but they were where they wanted to be at the end of the game.
Montreal turned in strong performances in the second and third periods as the Canadiens beat Ottawa 5-2 for the second time this week.
âWe had some chances, but I thought (the Senators) wanted to be really physical on us. But our guys got going and after we tied the game, we handled the rest of the game pretty well,â Julien said. âI think it was 3-1 when we slipped a little, but we picked it up again in the third and we played a good road game against a team thatâs been playing well at home.â
This was a team victory in every sense of the word. The Canadiensâ top scorer, Max Domi, failed to earn a point, and linemate Jonathan Drouin was limited to one assist. But each of Montrealâs four lines scored a goal and the defence came up big in the second and third periods. The Senators went more than nine minutes before they managed a shot on goal in each of the last two periods. They were outshot 43-21 and the margin was 30-11 over the last two periods.
âWeâve talked about how we want to finish,â Julien said. âWhen you have the lead, itâs easy to sit back and feel comfortable and weâve done that this year. In the last little while, weâve been better in the third, even when weâre ahead.â
Paul Byron said the Canadiens had an advantage in the final two periods because the Senators were missing two key players. Bobby Ryan suffered an upper-body injury when he tried to check Brett Kulak late in the first period. Matt Duchene , Ottawaâs leading scorer, left the game after he suffered a groin injury early in the second period.
âThe most important goal for us was the tying goal from our fourth line (in the first period),â Byron said. âWe got some momentum from that and then in the last two periods we knew that if we kept skating, kept pushing with our four lines, like we have been lately, it makes it hard for them. Thatâs been our formula and we have to bring it every game.â
Byron, who is an Ottawa native, scored twice â the second going into an empty net â and heâs always glad to show off his talent here.
âFor the most part we had a pretty complete game and itâs nice when everyone contributes,â said Brendan Gallagher, who scored his 13th goal of the season to share the team lead with Domi. âWeâre trying to get on a bit of a win streak and pick up some points. âWe knew we had some time off after this one, so we put a lot of emphasis on these two games and we got the job done.â
Time off is a relative term. This was the start of a three-game road trip. The Canadiens fly to Chicago Friday and they will play the Blackhawks Sunday before moving to Minnesota for a game Tuesday night.
About last night ... Canadiens stomp Senators 5-2 again