The Montreal Canadiens cut two three-goal deficits to one but could not complete the comeback in a 5-4 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at the Bell Centre Thursday night.
Jake Evans (two goals), a former Notre Dame star had cut the Ducks’ lead to 3-1 just 1:15 into the second period but he and his Montreal Canadiens teammates were done in by ‘The Michigan’, as Ducks winger Trevor Zegras (2g), scored on the famous trick play ten seconds later. While the Habs didn’t let that crush them, the Ducks were just too much as forward Troy Terry (1g, 1a,), defenseman Cam Fowler (1g, 1a) Sam Carrick (goal), and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (2a) gave the Ducks five points in their first three games on their five-game road trip.
Montreal Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen got his second goal in as many games on the powerplay 9:54 into the second period before Zegras made it 5-2 Ducks 14:04 into the middle frame. Evans scored his second goal 1:24 into the third period to make it 5-3 Ducks and Laurent Dauphin pulled the Canadiens with one goal on a penalty shot goal at 14:02.
Montreal Canadiens goalie Cayden Primeau had another rough showing. Primeau was pulled and replaced by Sam Montembeault after allowing three goals on nine shots in the first period. Montembeault allowed two Ducks goals on 15 shots in the final two periods.
GOLD STAR: Trevor Zegras – Zegras second goal at 14:04 of the second period proved to be the game-winner but obviously his first will be remembered forever:
— MurphysLaw74 (@MurphysLaw74) January 28, 2022
TABARNAK: First Period Again – The Montreal Canadiens were out-shot 150-57 and outscored 16-3 in the first period during their seven-game road trip. On Thursday they were outshot 16-9 and found themselves down 3-0 after the opening frame. With all due respect, because he and this team have been through hell for the last two months with COVID and injuries, at what point do we start questioning Dom Ducharme and his coaching staff?
TURNING POINT: Dauphin High-Sticking Double Minor – While there’s no argument it was the right call, Laurent Dauphin’s double-minor for high-sticking at 13;17 of the first period and the subsequent penalty kill put the Montreal Canadiens in an early hole they just couldn’t crawl out of. The Ducks got powerplay goals from fowler and Terry to make it 3-0 after one.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jake Evans – How ironic that a former Notre Dame player scores a highlight goal that will be forgotten because of ‘The Michigan’ eh? Evans played arguably his best game of the season.
Jake Evans could stickhandle in a phone booth… 📞 pic.twitter.com/wtDDHC6RiS
— NHL (@NHL) January 28, 2022
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I’m going to see myself on TSN or ESPN for a week, so not happy about that. But it was a great move.” – Montembeault showing humility and love for the game when asked about being in net for ‘The Michigan‘
Lineup: Here’s how the Montreal Canadiens lineup looked for faceoff Thursday against the Ducks:
Artturi Lehkonen-Nick Suzuki-Tyler Toffoli
Laurent Dauphin – Ryan Poehling – Mike Hoffman
Rem Pitlick-Jake Evans-Josh Anderson
Michael Pezzetta- Lukas Vejdemo-Cedric Paquette
Ben Chiarot-David Savard
Brett Kulak-Jeff Petry
Alexander Romanov-Chris Wideman