The Montreal Canadiens came into tonight’s game on a three-game losing skid and one more poor performance from Carey Price from a full-blown meltdown in Quebec. Fortunately for them, they avoided further worrying tonight.
Brian Gionta scored a power play goal with 47 seconds left in the third period to give the Habs a 3-2 win over the Lightning. Gionta had two goals on the night while Alex Galchenyuk had one in between those tallies.
More importantly for Montreal tonight, Price stood tall stopping 32 shots out of 34.
During Montreal’s three-game skid, Price was getting run out of the building giving up three to the Penguins on Wednesday, six to the Flyers on Monday, and getting chased early last Saturday against Toronto giving up three goals on four shots.
A solid game tonight from Price and a win helps cool fans off who were ready to officially freak out. Seeing the Habs back in first place after ceding control for a day to the Bruins should help chill them out.
The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.
The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.
The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.
But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.
“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”
Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
A preseason push by a number of Vancouver Canucks youngsters has left forward Linden Vey and defenseman Frank Corrado on waivers today.
The more surprising name of the two is Corrado, the 22-year-old who entered the season with an excellent chance of making the opening-day roster. However, it seems that rookie d-man Ben Hutton, 22, has been given the nod after finishing an eye-opening preseason with one goal and four assists in seven games. (This despite Hutton being waiver exempt. So it’s a risk for the Canucks, to be sure.)
It was the play of 19-year-old rookie Jared McCann that led, in part, to the waiving of Vey. (For more on that, click here.) Veteran Adam Cracknell remains with the team as well, to some surprise.
Rookie winger Jake Virtanen is also expected to be on Vancouver’s opening-day roster, though that’s no big shock.
Defenseman Alex Biega is also on waivers, as expected.