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Habs Postgame Poutine

Postgame Poutine: Primeau Pulls A Monty But Habs Lose To Avs 3-2 In OT

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens got another brilliant performance in net and once again were able to earn in a point against a Stanley Cup contender Saturday in a 3-2 overtime loss.

Gabriel Landeskog scored 1:16 into the extra frame to send the Montreal Canadiens to their second straight overtime loss. Devon Toews had three assists, including the primary on the overtime winner, and Samuel Girard had two helpers for Colorado. Valeri Nichkushkin and Alex Newhook scored the other goals for the Avs.

Rookie goalie Cayden Primeau bounced back from a rough start last Monday and 43 saves in the loss. He gave a flat Montreal Canadiens squad in the first period, a chance to stay in the game and come back from a 2-0 deficit 8:57 into the second period. After the Newhook powerplay goal 8:20 into the first period and the Nichkushkin tally on the man advantage into the middle frame, that’s exactly what a suddenly buzzing Habs team did.

Artturi Lehkonen cut the Colorado lead to one when he took a beautiful feed from Nick Suzuki at 18:17 of the second period. Then after a Nazem Kadri goal early in the third was ruled offsides, Suzuki tied the game on the powerplay 8:06 into the final frame.

GOLD STAR: Cayden Primeau – For a third straight game, the Montreal Canadiens got a brilliant start from a goalie who was thrust into action due to the starting goalie being out with an injury. First, it was Sam Montembeault who came in to start for an injured Jake Allen against the Dallas Stars Tuesday and backstopped the Habs to a 5-3 win, stopping 48 of 51 shots against. Then on Thursday in Las Vegas, Montembeault stopped 49 of 53 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Golden Knights.

With word right before the game Saturday in Denver, that Montembeault was out with what’s believed to be a hand injury, Primeau was thrust into the spotlight against the high-flying Avs less than a week after he was shelled against the Arizona Coyotes and pulled after two periods in a 5-2 loss for the Habs. The former Northeastern University star goalie seized the moment and earned redemption for the stinker in the desert last Monday. The Habs were out-shot 23-12 in the opening frame but thanks to Primeau, only led 1-0 on the Newhook powerplay goal at 8:20. The Avs took a 2-0 lead on another powerplay goal 8:57 into the second period from Nichuskin, but Primeau didn’t wilt. He made two huge saves on J.T. Compher and Nazem Kadri midway through the second and that helped pave the way to the Lehkonen goal at 18:17 of the middle frame:

 

 

TABARNAK: First Period – For a third straight game, the Montreal Canadiens were slow out of the gate and as mentioned above, would not have been down just a goal if not for Primeau. The Habs need to stop taking a bend but don’t break approach into each game. They’ve proven that they can hang with the big boys when they work hard and play aggressive hockey consistently. Luckily they woke up as the game went on Saturday.

TURNING POINT: Offsides Challenge – Early in the third period Nazem Kadri appeared to have given the Avalanche a 3-1 lead but appeared to have given the Avs another one-goal lead but the crack video staff for the Montreal Canadiens immediately called down to the bench and Dominique Ducharme challenged offsides on the play. The challenge was successful and minutes later Suzuki tied the game. If not for that challenge the Habs likely don’t get a point in this one.

HONORABLE MENTION: Girard/Toews – This may be one of the most underrated and dynamic defensive duos in the NHL right now. The focus with the Avalanche is obviously usually on Cale Makar but when he has a quiet night like he did Saturday…, the Girard-Toews duo takes over. They’re both not afraid to pinch but they rarely give up odd-man rushes back the other way. Both Girard and Toews assisted on the first two Avalanche goals and then Toews did an amazing job to keep the play in the zone and that helped lead to the Landeskog overtime-winner.

Notable Mention: Nick Suzuki – The center the Montreal Canadiens hope can be their No.1 center leading into the future, and maybe even their captain, is finding his stride again. With his ?? Saturday, Suzuki now has points in three straight games. Suzuki has a goal and four assists during that span. The 22-year-old newly selected All-Star was buzzing Saturday and that’s a great sign for a team that finally seems to even slightly resemble the 2021 Montreal Canadiens.

 

 

QUOTE TO NOTE: “He made some really big saves, kept us in it, and gave us a chance to win tonight.” – Tyler Toffoli on Primeau’s performance.

BY THE NUMBERS:  Here’s how the Canadiens lined up on the ice Saturday:

Forwards:

Artturi Lehkonen-Nick Suzuki-Tyler Toffoli

Laurent Dauphin – Christian Dvorak – Mike Hoffman

Rem Pitlick-Jake Evans-Josh Anderson

Michael Pezzetta-Ryan Poehling-Cedric Paquette

Defense:

Ben Chiarot-David Savard

Brett Kulak-Jeff Petry

Alexander Romanov-Chris Wideman

Goalies:

Cayden Primeau

Michael McNiven

 

 

 

 

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