I’ve accepted an invitation to participate in a live chat, hosted by HockeyPrimeTime.com, during today’s Heritage Classic game between Montreal and Calgary (starts at 3 p.m.). I’m extending the invitation to you – and to make it even easier, you can hop in the room right here, without leaving the comforts of insidesocal.com. The game is going to be televised locally on Versus. Come back at 3 and chat it up:
Saku Koivu’s first game back in Montreal began with a heart-warming, name-chanting tribute – and nearly ended in heartbreak.
The longtime captain of the Canadiens could only sit and watch from the penalty box as Max Pacioretty jammed a rebound past Jonas Hiller with 12.6 seconds left in the third period to tie the game at 3.
But for the second time in three games, Bobby Ryan saved the day. Using the same forehand move on Carey Price that he used four days earlier to win a game in Ottawa, Ryan scored the only goal of the shootout, and Jonas Hiller stopped all three Canadiens attempts on the other end, to give the Ducks the win.
Cam Fowler and Corey Perry scored power-play goals in regulation, and Ryan scored at even strength, to give Anaheim (27-20-4) a 3-1 lead heading into the third period. Goals by Pacioretty – his second of the game – and Mathieu Darche allowed the Habs to tie the game in a third period that saw them outshoot the Ducks 23-5.
Hiller, who made 37 saves, was his usual outstanding self in a head-to-head matchup with Price. By getting the win, Hiller matched Price for the NHL lead with 24 wins.
With one stop left (Tuesday in Columbus) on a four-game road trip, the Ducks have collected four of a possible six points to move into a tie with Nashville for fourth place in the Western Conference standings.
A few more notes:
An early lead vanished into thin air at Honda Center, leaving the Ducks’ playoff chances slightly dimmer than they were at the beginning of the day.
Brian Gionta and Tomas Plekanec scored on the Canadiens’ final two shootout attempts on Jonas Hiller – the former a disputed goal that trickled over Hiller’s arm and over the goal line. Ryan Getzlaf scored the only shootout goal for the Ducks, who needed two points in the standings but only got one.
lose that way, it’s pretty disappointing, even though we got the one
point,” Ducks center and former Habs captain Saku Koivu said. “Especially for myself, I’ve waited for this game for quite a while.
I’m happy it’s done now, but I’m disappointed that we lost
Kyle Chipchura might be best off centering either the third or the fourth line in the Ducks’ lineup. The jury’s still out. At
least in Anaheim, unlike Montreal, the jury consists of only one coach, Randy
“It’s not like everybody you run into on the street is
trying to coach and has something to say,” Chipchura said Tuesday. “In that
sense, the personal pressure is lower.”