Last night’s Game of the Day between the Blueshirts and Habs ended in a three-goal shutout for Montréal, earning them their best start (5-0-0) in their illustrious franchise history.
The Habs earned their first goal after almost 29 minutes of scoreless play when Tomas Fleischmann scored his second goal of the year, the eventual game winner, off an assist from David Desharnais. Both were involved in the first insurance goal of the game, assisting Dale Weise to his first season of the season with little more than two minutes remaining in the game. The final goal was fired by Tomas Plekanec into an empty net in the final minute of action.
Carey Price earned the shutout victory by stopping all 25 Rangers shots, while Henrik Lundqvist only stopped 29 of 31 (93.5%).
Don’t let the Canadiens (or Maple Leafs fans!) know now, but in addition to having the best start ever, they also have a little bit of history on their side. The franchise has begun their season at 4-0-0 three times before, and all three of those seasons ended with the Stanley Cup living in The City of Saints for the year.
The DtFR Game of the Day series now stands at a 5-4 advantage for the home squad after the third straight shutout.
Tonight, there’s seven games on the schedule. The evening gets started at 7 p.m. eastern when San Jose visits New Jersey and Toronto visits Columbus. Half an hour later, the Canes visit the Wings. At 8 p.m. eastern, Calgary visits Winnipeg. Starting at 10 p.m. eastern are St. Louis at Vancouver and Colorado at Anaheim. Finally, Minnesota and Los Angeles drop the puck at 10:30 p.m. eastern.
There are a few significant returns tonight, including Calgary‘s Michael Frolik to Winnipeg and San Jose coach Peter DeBoer to New Jersey. That being said, there is one that stands out even more: Francois Beauchemin, current defenseman for the Colorado Avalanche, is returning to the Pond, a place he has called home twice for a combined 9 seasons (approximately) of his 14+ year career. Because of this, Colorado at Anaheim is today’s Game of the Day.
How funny that the first game he’s played against Anaheim since January 20, 2011 (when he was a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs) is with the very team he made his Ducks debut against (of course, they were then the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim)! It was on November 18, 2005 that Beauchemin played his first game for the Ducks, against the Colorado Avalanche.
Beauchemin was a part of Anaheim‘s lone Stanley Cup squad in the 2006-’07 season. During those playoffs, he scored four goals (seventh on team) (all of them were power play goals, a stat in which he was second best on the team), eight points (tied for 10th on team), a +2 Corsi rating (tied for 10th on team) and four assists (tied for 11th on team).
Beauchemin still owns a few records on the Ducks‘ books, including being tied for the most playoff game appearances (97) with Ryan Getzlaf, the fourth most playoff points (39) and playoff assists (29), the seventh most playoff goals (10) and the 10th most regular season assists (126).
So far this season with the Avs, Beauchemin has had positive effects on his new club. He has brought his penchant for assists to Colorado, already notching five in only three games played, which is best on the team and third best in the league (10th best in league in points).
The line currently reads -176 for Anaheim, but both teams have lost two of their three games to start the season and will try to use this matchup to restart their seasons. That being said, I expect the Ducks to hold their own and earn their first win of the season in what should be a great game.