In just his second start in over two months, Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen backstopped his team to a convincing 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
Allen made 29 saves, and the fourth line came up huge as Jake Evans had a goal and an assist, Paul Byron scored and Michael Pezzetta had an assist.
Joel Armia also lit the lamp for the Montreal Canadiens.
Josh Norris scored the only goal for the Senators and goalie Filip Gustavsson allowed five goals on 27 shots.
Here’s your MHN Postgame Poutine:
GOLD STAR: Jake Allen – After stopping 31 of 35 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars and in his first game since suffering a lower-body injury against the Boston Bruins on Jan. 12, Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen was superb against the Senators on Saturday night. Allen made 29 saves to earn his first win since November 27.
"How about no." – Jake Allen pic.twitter.com/5p4rjPjsBZ
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) March 20, 2022
Allen found himself under siege during the first period but still turned away 12 of the 13 shots the Senators threw at him. While he didn’t see much rubber in the first ten minutes of the middle frame, Allen probably had his biggest impact in the bottom half of the second period.
After his team took s 3-1 lead on the Cole Caufield goal 3:23 into the period, they seemed to sit back a bit. Luckily, Allen was ready for the pushback from the Sens, and at 17:08 of the second, he stoned Senators forward Adam Gaudette on a breakaway to keep it at 3-1 Canadiens. That seemed to stem any momentum the Sens had and from that point on, the Habs were in control.
TABARNAK: There Is No Tabernak. Happy St. Patrick’s Day Weekend!
TURNING POINT: Allen Save; Armia Goal – As mentioned above, Allen came up huge in the latter half of the second period and then stoned Gaudette to keep the game at 3-1 Montreal Canadiens. Just 2:19 later Armia padded the Canadiens’ lead to 4-1 and that was pretty much all she wrote.
The tip is good for Joel Armia! 🚨 pic.twitter.com/K3vNnJlsPd
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 20, 2022
HONORABLE MENTION: Michael Pezzetta-Jake Evans-Paul Byron – How Michael Pezzetta isn’t in the lineup every game by now and signed to an extension, is beyond me, but that story is developing and for another day. The Montreal Canadiens winger brings the noise every game and it hard to argue that he hasn’t been a presence in almost every game he’s played this season. That Pezzetta buzz translated throughout the energy line for the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday as both Evans and Byron lit the lamp off pure energy generated from the defensive zone and dominating across he neutral zone.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 19, 2022
BY THE NUMBERS: Here’s how the Montreal Canadiens lined up Thursday night:
Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki– Joel Armia
Jonathan Drouin-Rem Pitlick-Mike Hoffman
Artturi Lehkonen-Christian Dvorak-Joel Armia
Michael Pezzetta-Jake Evans-Paul Byron
Joel Edmundson-Jeff Petry
Alexander Romanov-Brett Kulak
Corey Schueneman-Chris Wideman
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Jake was incredible so gotta thank our goalie for keeping us in there early in the game.” – Byron on Allen’s performance Saturday night.