Canadiens, Pezzetta Edge Out Sabres In 4-3 Shootout Win
Mike Pezzetta had the most hilarious shootout celebration in Montreal Canadiens history, as the Habs edged out the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in dramatic fashion.
After jumping up to an early lead, the Canadiens got away from playing their game in the first half of this tilt; running into unnecessary penalty trouble that opened the door for the Sabres to get back into the game.
The Canadiens roared back in the third period, as their defencemen began to activate with regularity and Montreal dominated puck possession in the final frame of the game to push for the tying marker.
Mike Matheson was once again one of the most impressive players for the Canadiens, playing over 25 minutes yet again tonight and looking like the most dynamic skater on the ice.
The Canadiens defenceman continues to play like a top-pairing rearguard for the club and has been a driving factor for much of Montreal’s offence on the rush.
Eric Comrie played brilliantly for the Sabres; blocking 36 shots and 15 high-danger chances to keep his team in the game as the Canadiens picked up the pace in the third period.
He was notably sensational for the Sabres in keeping them afloat during overtime, as the Sabres took an untimely cross-checking penalty that could have been costly.
After an incredibly entertaining overtime period, the game was ultimately decided in a shootout; with Mike Pezzetta scoring the game-winner in dramatic fashion and celebrating in style.
Your post-game analysis below:
Early Bird Gets The Worm
The Montreal Canadiens have often been criticized for their lacklustre starts this season, but tonight was not one of those instances.
The Habs came out flying right out of the gate; hemming the Sabres in their own zone and playing keep-away for the first 90 seconds of the game.
Mike Matheson once again showed off his elite puck-carrying ability; skating the puck around the Sabres’ offensive zone and sliding the puck to an open Jonathan Drouin.
The skilled forward then slid the puck over to a streaking Jordan Harris, who took two shots to beat Eric Comrie and give the Canadiens their first goal of the game 82 seconds in.
1:22 ⏱️#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/hGe0Mdf7j5
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 27, 2023
With the Montreal Canadiens sporting the 29th-ranked penalty kill in the NHL going into this game, it was imperative that they keep the game at even strength for as long as possible.
Unfortunately, that didn’t work out for them tonight, as they took four penalties within the first half of the game; handing the Buffalo Sabres an opportunity to take control of the game going into the second period.
Their many trips to the sin bin finally cost them in the middle of the second period, as Mike Hoffman’s cross-checking minor proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for the Canadiens.
Rookie J.J. Peterka was able to capitalize on the ensuing power play, securing his tenth goal of the season and tying the game for Buffalo at 2-2.
The Sabres would use the shift in momentum to push for another quick goal shortly after to take command of the game until a certain veteran made his presence known.
It’s been another miserable year for veteran Brendan Gallagher on the injury front, but that hasn’t stopped him from playing his smash-mouth style when he’s in the lineup.
Since returning from his most recent lower-body injury, Gallagher’s looked very comfortable lining up next to Jake Evans and the speedy Jesse Ylönen.
The trio has come to life over the last couple of games, helping Gallagher notch some important goals in his career over that span.
He once again showed some scoring prowess tonight, as he fired home a blistering wrist-shot by Comrie on the rush halfway through the third period.
With tonight’s goal, Gallagher secured his 200th career goal, which puts him at 24th all-time in Montreal Canadiens history.
2️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ 🔥#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/kZ5gOgWGFi
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 28, 2023
Head coach Martin St-Louis made a few perplexing choices for the Canadiens during their shootout attempts.
Going with Mike Matheson and Johnathan Kovacevic to take part in the sudden-death portions of the shootout, it was evident that St-Louis was willing to think outside of the box in his choices to win his club the game.
However, his choice to tap Mike Pezzetta to shoot ahead of players like Kirby Dach and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard surprised everyone in attendance and all those watching at home.
Not only did St-Louis win his gamble when Pezzetta wired home the game-winner, he gave Canadiens fans meme material for the next decade with Pezzetta’s hilarious celebration.
BIN OUI MON PEZZ#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/5JTb4NppV1
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 28, 2023
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Can the team be entertaining and frustrating at the same time? Heck ya. These wins are killing me. Watching RHP get a hat trick and Pezzetta give it the old Tiger Williams special after scoring the shootout no less, has been a hoot. But the 2 points that accompany these wins is detrimental to the long term future of the team. If we beat Philly tomorrow, which is a very real possibility, we could be dropping from drafting 5th down to 8th. Sure, the draft is loaded with great players this year, but there are definitely tiers of greatness within this draft too. The top 3 of Bedard, Fantilli and Michkov are in the top tier. Then there’s another tier from 4th to about 6th or 7th, and then there’s more tiers after that. To win a Cup, one of the components you need is having the best players. If we drop down to draft 8th to 10th, we’ll get a good player to add to our stable, but there will be several teams that will be picking an even better one than we are, including one team landing a generational talent. Those will be the teams we’re competing against in the future to win a Cup. Winning these games is fun and all, but we need to be picking the best possible player we can this summer, if we want to get closer to our ultimate goal.