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Post Game Poutine: Montreal Canadiens Fall to Kraken 4-3

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens fought back from a two-goal deficit to force overtime but ultimately lost 4-3 in the shootout. The Habs put on quite the show in the third period for their fans, who could fill the Bell Center to maximum capacity for the first time since December 9. Despite a very rocky start, the Montreal Canadiens’ faithful were given a fascinating ending to the game, wild overtime and a fourteen-player shootout.

The Seattle Kraken played a tough and calculated game, not allowing the Canadiens to capitalize on their many chances in tight. They protected the net well and made the Canadiens fight for every inch of space in the blue paint, punishing them in front of the net and keeping them far from goaltender Philipp Grubauer. The Kraken controlled much of the game’s pace after the Canadiens allowed an unfortunate shorthanded own-goal with less than 10 minutes into the 1st period and almost had a second a few minutes later that was ultimately overturned.

Nick Suzuki and Alexander Romanov came up big for the Canadiens in the third period, especially Suzuki’s inspired play when it mattered most. Suzuki sent the fans into an absolute frenzy when he scored the tying goal with less than three minutes left in the game. Suzuki was one of the few Canadiens that stood out in this game from start to finish, playing a sound two-way game and setting up his linemates for many high-quality scoring opportunities.

Goaltender Samuel Montembeault looked very shaky early on, allowing two short-handed goals in the 1st period, one of which was overturned due to an offside. He was then able to regain his composure as the game went on, making big saves in the 2nd and 3rd periods to keep the Canadiens in the game when the Kraken was pressing. He finished the night with a 32-save performance and stopped six of seven shooters in the shootout.

Here’s your MHN Postgame Poutine:

GOLD STAR: Philipp Grubauer– Grubauer was a pillar for his team tonight, as he stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced. He kept the Kraken in the game early, as Montreal came out with intensity. He unfortunately allowed two goals in the third period, one of which was put in by his own defenseman Adam Larsson, but ultimately shut the door on the Canadiens in the third and stopped at seven shooters in the shootout.

TABARNAK: Early short-handed goal- The Montreal Canadiens allowed a very unfortunate shorthanded 9:26 into the first period while they looked to be controlling the game’s pace. A miscue between Montembeault and defenseman Chris Wideman created confusion in front of the net and resulted in an own-goal which really seemed to halt the Canadiens in their tracks.

TURNING POINT: Nick Suzuki Tying Goal – The trend of own-goals continued, but this time it favoured the Montreal Canadiens, as Nick Suzuki’s shot was deflected in by Adam Larsson and tied the game for the Montreal Canadiens. This sent the full capacity Bell Centre crowd into a frenzy, as the Canadiens completed a rare third-period comeback in this challenging season.

HONORABLE MENTION: Alexander Romanov– Romanov had one of his best overall games this season and was the most impactful defenseman for the Habs at five on five with his strong defensive play. He was able to add a timely goal early in the 3rd period and an assist on the game-tying goal to jolt the Canadiens back to life. He looked to gain confidence the more the game went on. He’s been steadily improving all season, and this game showed precisely what Romanov could become for the Canadiens down the road.

BY THE NUMBERS: Here’s how the Montreal Canadiens lined up Wednesday night:

Forwards

Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki-Josh Anderson

Mike Hoffman- Rem Pitlick– Brendan Gallagher

Paul Byron-Jake Evans- Micheal Pezzetta

Joel Armia- Ryan Poehling-Artturi Lehkonen

Defence:

Alexander Romanov – Ben Chiarot

Joel Edmundson-Jeff Petry

Brett Kulak-Chris Wideman

Goalies:

Sam Montembeault

Cayden Primeau

QUOTE TO NOTE: ”I’m glad we fought back in the third period. It was a very exciting end to the game” – Head coach Martin St. Louis on his team’s comeback in the third period.

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