Best supporting actors
The Canadiens’ top snipers may be living up to their top-billing throughout the playoffs so far, but the Habs know it will take a lot more than just a few guys lighting the lamp to be successful in the postseason.
“Goals have to come from everywhere, especially coming off a 1-0 game,” explained Dominic Moore. “Some nights goals are going to come on the power play; some nights, it’s going to come from our stars; other nights, it’s the defensemen. Tonight, the goals were coming from the third and fourth lines.”
With 20 of the Canadiens’ 26 goals prior to Game 4 coming off the sticks of the Top 6 forwards, hearing names like Cammalleri, Gomez and Gionta announced over the Bell Centre P.A. system is nothing new to Habs fans. But it wasn’t the usual suspects bringing the house down on Thursday night.
“It definitely felt good to score that one. I was getting more and more frustrated that I wasn’t contributing some offense,” admitted rookie center Tom Pyatt, who opened the scoring with his first career playoff goal three minutes into the first period. “Teams that go far in the playoffs need goals from the third and fourth lines. Now’s the time for us to take our game up a notch and help out. We just got the puck on net and crashed hard and it paid off for us.”
Pyatt’s linemate couldn’t agree more. Heading into the third period down 2-1 and facing the prospect of digging themselves into a 3-1 hole against the defending Cup champs, Maxim Lapierre wasn’t about to sit back and let someone else do his dirty work for him.
“It’s not always up to the two first lines to score goals,” reminded Lapierre, who also added four hits to his night’s work. “They’re doing a great job for us. We said before the game we just need to put everything on net and that’s what we did on the Pyatt goal and on my goal and it worked out. I’m not going to try a fancy play or fancy pass; I just wanted to stuff the puck under him and it went in.”
If the 21,273 fans in attendance were pumped to see their hometown hero draw the Habs even at 2-2, they still had to compete with Josh Gorges for the position of Lapierre’s No. 1 fan on the night.
“It was awesome. That’s so great to see – you love it when guys go out there working hard, crashing and banging and get rewarded for it,” described Josh Gorges. “Lappy’s been working extremely hard, getting in on the forecheck and getting some hits so it’s great to see him get one and to have Darchey helping as well. He went in there and created a lot and he made that goal happen with his hard work.”
While he was willing to consider his blue-line partner’s theory that it was just hard work helping Lapierre find the back of the net, Hal Gill also had a hypothesis of his own.
“Lappy loves scoring at home,” laughed Gill. “That was a great goal – that’s his style: go to the net, get around the net and crash and that’s huge for us. It just takes the load off of our scorers. Everyone’s got to contribute. In the playoffs you can’t just do your job – you need to do a little bit more.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for candiens.com.
The Numbers Game - May 6
Series tied 2-2