|Date of game: 12/9/2014
Recap: Montreal vs. Vancouver
Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Canadiens took the ice for their first home game since the death of franchise icon Jean Beliveau, and came away with a 3-1 victory over Vancouver.
Tomas Plekanec tallied late in regulation and Brendan Gallagher supplied early offense for the Habs, who received 15 saves from Carey Price in snapping a three-game skid.
Beliveau, who died at the age of 83 last Tuesday, laid in state at Bell Centre on Sunday and Monday, and will have a public funeral on Wednesday at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral only two blocks from the arena.
He was feted in front of the home crowd -- which included his wife, Elise, and several members of his family in the block of seats held since the days of the Forum -- with a video presentation and a prolonged period of silence.
"It was a little bit emotional before the game. But I'm glad to be part of this night, and glad we got her (Mrs. Beliveau) a victory," Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty admitted. "Everyone had some extra energy. We worked hard, and would have liked to have had a couple more goals, but we're getting chances."
Ryan Miller stopped 22 shots in the loss for the Canucks, with Derek Dorsett's second-period short-handed goal their only tally.
"It's not an excuse. You have to play at another level when you're on a long road trip as we are, Miller said. "We were definitely playing like we're at the end, but we competed hard. I'm just sorry we couldn't stretch it into overtime, but that's the way it goes."
Vancouver, which completed a seven-game road trip at 3-3-1, hosts the Rangers on Saturday to kick off a four-game residency.
Plekanec gave the Canadiens a 2-1 lead with 4:16 left in regulation. He broke free of two Canuck defenders in the neutral zone, skated up the middle before taking a pass from Sven Andrighetto and beating Miller with a high wrister.
Pacioretty put the capper into an empty net just before time expired.
"We played one of our best games this season. It gave me a great satisfaction ending this slump after the commemoration," noted Montreal head coach Michel Therrien.
Following a scoreless opening 20 minutes, Gallagher put the Habs on top just shy of the seven-minute mark of the second period with a hard and high wrister from the left circle.
Vancouver's Brad Richardson was off for a high stick but the Canucks tied the game anyway on Dorsett's shot from in front off a dish from Jannik Hansen at the 11:56 mark.Game Notes
Montreal has won five of its last six home dates with Vancouver since February
of 2009 ... Beliveau had his name inscribed on the Stanley Cup a league-record
17 times -- 10 as a player and seven more as a Canadiens executive ... The
Canucks have recorded four short-handed goals this season.