Connect with us

Montreal Canadiens

Post Game Poutine: Montreal Canadiens Fall to Devils 3-2 In A Shootout

Published

on

Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens put up a valiant effort, clawing back from a 2-0 deficit, but could not seal the deal in extra time, as the New Jersey Devils escaped with the 3-2 shootout win. It was an exciting game for many Canadiens fans, as they were getting their first look and promising defenceman Justin Barron since being traded to Montreal, and the 20-year-old impressed quite a few in his limited time.

The Devils came out flying in this game, using their speed to overload the Montreal defence in the first period. They consistently had possession of the puck, gained the offensive zone with ease, and produced 10 high-danger scoring chances in the first period alone. Despite a stellar showing in the opening frame, Samuel Montembeault was the author of his own misery, as his pass attempt was picked off in the slot by Jack Hughes, who capitalized on the turnover and buried his team-leading 23rd goal of the season with 44 seconds left.

The Canadiens started the second period on their heels after having allowed a bad goal in the dying seconds of the 1st period, chasing the puck down the line and looking rather sluggish in their own end. Josh Anderson then took an ill-timed tripping penalty just as the Canadiens started to get the flow going, opening the door for the New Jersey Devils to double their lead. The Devils kept the same four Canadiens players on the ice for close to a full two minutes, spreading the Canadiens defence with high quantities of cross-ice passes, which ultimately opened the door for Jack Hughes to pot his 2nd of the night.

Even though they were down by two goals with a little less than more than half the game gone by, as we saw last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, there is no quit in Martin St. Louis’ Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens began to pick up the pace and played with far more vigour and urgency to their game, generating more shots on goal and forcing the New Jersey Devils to take penalties of their own.

The Canadiens forced the Devils to take back-to-back penalties but could not capitalize on a golden opportunity on an ensuing 5-on-3. Thankfully, the Canadiens’ second power-play unit, which included recent call-up, Jesse Ylönen, at the left circle, was able to thread the needle before the second Devils penalty expired, bringing the Montreal Canadiens back within one goal of the Devils. Chris Wideman sent a no-look pass over to Ylönen, who wired a blistering one-timer toward the net, which Josh Anderson deflected in for his 16th of the season.

The goal seemed to give the Habs some much-needed momentum in the second period, which they carried into the third period. The Canadiens and Devils traded chances in the third period, showing signs of fatigue from playing two games in as many nights. Montreal continued to knock on the door, as Montembeault shut the door in the third period when Hughes and the Devils continued to press.

Despite a strong effort, the Montreal Canadiens were unable to solve Nico Daws throughout the third period, as it looked like the Devils were going to walk away with the win. However, Martin St. Louis called a timely timeout which paid immediate dividends, as Christian Dvorak was able to send a beautiful behind-the-back pass to Rem Pitlick for the tap-in to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Overtime proved even more exciting as Jesper Bratt, Mike Hoffman and Nico Hischier all hit the post during the extra frame, while the teams moved the puck at a furious rate. St. Louis even played Justin Barron multiple times in overtime, showing his young defenceman some confidence in his first game with the club in the face of sudden death. Ultimately, the game would require a shootout to decide the outcome of the game,

It took both teams seven rounds of shooters to finally decide the game, but the Devils were ultimately able to come away with the 3-2 win when Paul Byron couldn’t answer Yegor Sharangovich’s marker.

 

Here’s your MHN Postgame Poutine:

GOLD STAR: Jack Hughes – Hughes was easily the most dynamic player on the ice and played with great poise and speed. He was able to skate through the neutral zone with great ease, and all the Canadiens could do was contain him to the outside, struggling to try and get the puck off his stick. He scored two beautiful goals, but over a dozen legit scoring chances, while setting up his teammates for quality looks in the high-danger areas that ultimately weren’t converted on. Hughes looked like a star tonight, and was the main reason the Devils walked away with the victory.

TABARNAK: Mike Hoffman’s Bad Luck in OT:  The Devils and Canadiens traded chances and a furious rate in the extra frame, going end to end and making creative plays that had the crowd on the edge of their seats. On one occasion, Mike Hoffman was able to jump on a loose puck, march all the way down the ice for a breakaway and wired home a shot that looked to many like a good goal. Upon further review, Hoffman’s celebration was a little premature, as his shot went off both goalposts and never fully crossed the line; a very frustrating moment for the skilled winger.

TURNING POINT: Josh Anderson’s powerplay goal- The Montreal Canadiens had just failed to capitalize on a 5-on-3 opportunity and looked disorganized in the offensive zone. St. Louis quickly put out his second wave to finish out the remaining time on the second penalty, which hadn’t yet expired, and the decision proved to be quite fruitful. Wideman slid a no-look pass over to Ylönen, who unleashed a cannon of a one-timer that was deflected in front by Anderson. The goal put the Canadiens on the board at 2-1 and seemed to give the team some much-needed momentum after what had been a lacklustre first half of this game.

HONORABLE MENTION: Justin Barron- Many eyes were on Justin Barron tonight, as the youngster was playing in his first game since being traded for Artturi Lehkonen an hour before NHL Trade Deadline. In a limited role, Barron played admirably next to veteran Joel Edmundson and looked to gain in confidence as the game continued. His defensive work improved throughout the game, going from sporadic defensive coverage to aggressive box-outs of the Devils’ most dangerous players. St. Louis rewarded the young defender’s growth in confidence with multiple shifts in overtime alongside Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield, a sign that the Habs bench boss liked what he saw.

 

McLean's Pub

“It’s a sign of trust from his coach. He’s an offensive guy. So you put those guys in that kind of scenario, a lot of space and time, they’re going to do offensive things.”- head coach Martin St. Louis on his usage of Justin Barron in OT.

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

Forwards

Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki– Josh Anderson

Rem Pitlick-Jake Evans-Mike Hoffman

Paul Byron-Christian Dvorak-Joel Armia

Mathieu Perreault-Laurent Dauphin-Jesse Ylönen

Defence:

Alexander Romanov-David Savard

Joel Edmundson-Justin Barron

Corey Schueneman-Chris Wideman

Goalies:

Jake Allen

Sam Montembeault

 

QUOTE TO NOTE: 

Montreal Hockey Now in your Inbox

Get the latest breaking news, opinion and analysis from the Montreal Hockey Now team directly in your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.