The Montreal Canadiens were able to put a massive roadblock in the Edmonton Oilers’ playoff push by beating them in decisive fashion 5-2. The Canadiens were led by the tremendous play of Nick Suzuki, who was the unquestioned top play of the game and was clutch for the Canadiens from the very start of the game. Samuel Montembeault was able to forgive a very lacklustre performance against the Winnipeg Jets earlier in the week with a 28-save performance against the Oilers, making some key saves at the right times to keep the Canadiens afloat during high-danger situations. Brendan Gallagher was also able to get the monkey off his back, scoring his first goal in his last 19 games on the powerplay for the Canadiens,
It was a very fast-paced, high-tempo game that saw a plethora of end-to-end rushes, high quantities of odd-man opportunities and some of the most exciting hockey Montreal Canadiens fans have had access to since the start of the season. Head coach Martin St. Louis had his team running on all cylinders, as every player seemed to be a step or two ahead of everyone on the ice and first on loose pucks.
For a team in the heat of a ferocious playoff, the Oilers seemed to come into this game expecting the same Canadiens team they faced in January at the Bell Centre, but they quickly realized that they were sorely mistaken. Oilers goaltender Mike Smith officially allowed five goals on 29 shots, but it could have been worse, as the Canadiens had two goals overturned due to offside challenges. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl had moments of brilliance, but were ultimately kept to the perimeter for most of the game, unable to create much offence and break through the Canadiens’ defence.
Here’s your MHN Postgame Poutine:
GOLD STAR: Nick Suzuki– For the second game in a row, Suzuki was the best player on the ice, and that’s saying something when you’re playing against McDavid and Draisaitl. He played in every situation, was used over 22 minutes and finished the game with a goal and two assists for his second three-point game in a row. Suzuki and Cole Caufield dominated the pace of the game from the very beginning, and he was instrumental in Montreal being able to keep McDavid quiet during this fast-paced game.
Cole Caufield gets his 8th of the year and makes it look easy pic.twitter.com/MFsKmftbt8
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) March 6, 2022
TABARNAK: Nick Suzuki’s powerplay goal overturned. – Suzuki scored a nice wrister at the 10-minute mark of the second period while on the powerplay to give the Canadiens back the lead at 3-2. However, the goal was challenged and eventually overturned due to an offside.
TURNING POINT: Nick Suzuki’s revenge – Despite having his powerplay marker overturned due to an offside, Suzuki didn’t let that stop him. He went back out on the ice for the very same powerplay and scored in the exact same way, but, this time, there was no mistake. It was an impressive show of character from Suzuki, as he wasn’t phased at all by his disallowed goal and simply just went out and got his team another one. That was slick.
HONORABLE MENTION: Samuel Montembeault– For a guy that was yanked from his last game for allowing seven goals on 23 shots, Montembeault seemed very relaxed in today’s game. He wasn’t overly aggressive and played his posts well, allowing him to thwart quite a few scoring chances from two of the best players in the league. He kept the Canadiens in the game during the 1st and 2nd periods before the Habs were able to take over offensively. As they reached the late stages of the game, the Oilers began to attack Montembeault’s net more and more, but the netminder stood firm and was able to push back everything they threw at him. A solid bounce-back performance by “Dikembe” this evening.
— Chris G (@ChrisHabs360) March 6, 2022
BY THE NUMBERS: Here’s how the Montreal Canadiens lined up Tuesday Night:
Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki-Josh Anderson
Mike Hoffman – Laurent Dauphin – Brendan Gallagher
Joel Armia-Rem Pitlick- Artturi Lehkonen
Mathieu Perreault – Ryan Poehling – Micheal Pezzetta
Alexander Romanov – Ben Chiarot
Brett Kulak-Jeff Petry
Kale Clague -Chris Wideman
QUOTE TO NOTE: ”He’s going to be a special player for a long time ” – Brendan Gallagher on Nick Suzuki