I had predicted on the TEAM 990 pre-game show that Montreal would win 4-2 on the strength of their powerplay.
Early in the game, that prediciton looked good, as Montreal cashed in on the first PP opportunity to take the lead at 2-1 (from as unlikely a source as any in Josh Gorges, who scored his first as a Hab).
Then my prediction started to look worse, as Montreal failed to score on their other 6 powerplays.
Then, something happened that no one on the planet would have or could have predicted.
With the Habs up 3-2 since about midway through the second period, someone commited the error of all errors.
In the third period, with 4:47 remaining, Bill Guerin scored an empty net goal.
Did Montreal feel so cocky with the lead against the lowly Isles that they felt the need to pull Price? Is that the error I'm refering to? Was it Carbo's coaching error?
No. God no. I wish...
With Carey Price on the bench on a delayed penalty against Sean Bergenheim, Ryan O'Byrne won a foot race to the puck against Doug Weight (nothing to brag about, I know), collected it near the boards beside the right faceoff circle, and WRISTED IT INTO HIS OWN NET (Even LESS of SOMETHING to brag about, I know!).
Just like that, without even a shot on goal officially, the Isles were back in it...new game.
The Habs would solve nothing on two of their 7 powerplays that came after the O'Byrne gaffe, and, despite being the aggresor , found no way to win their first in overtime of the season.
The shootout concluded with what I felt would happen immediately after the O'Byrne doozie, as the Isles wound up winning led by Richard Park and Bill Guerin.
O'Byrne was chanted off the ice by his own crowd, as they mocked his name in tune.
In an incredible stat, Joey MacDonald allowed 3 goals on 26 shots, while Price allowed 2 on 24, yet MacDonald got the win, as the O'Byrne own goal was never against Price.
In all fairness, O'Byrne's mistake was terrible, but the Habs threw this game themselves. They failed to connect on 6 straight man-advantges and looked very sloppy and disorganized on those opportunities once again. Even with the goal, their powerplay has become a serious issue. They came into the contest with the 2nd worst PP% on home ice, only ahead of Tampa Bay.
Steve Begin (2) and Maxim Lapierre (2) had the other goals in this one.
Montreal now has one night to dwell on this loss before heading out to Detroit to face the defending champs. Detroit lost 3-2 in overtime tonight, on the road in Vancouver.