The Montreal Canadiens were opportunistic and took advantage of the New Jersey Devils’ woes in net to take this game 7-4 at the Prudential Center.
The Canadiens came out of the gate roaring, scoring two quick goals, less than seven minutes into the game and never looked back. The Devils continued to fight back all game, but Jake Allen was able to come up with the big saves in the first and second periods to help the Canadiens continue building up their lead.
The Devils did their best to come back in this game during the second period, doubling the Canadiens in shots and scoring chances, but ultimately couldn’t catch up to the Canadiens. Every time they would gain some sort of momentum, the Canadiens were quickly able to capitalize on an offensive chance and extend their lead.
The Canadiens defence led Montreal to offensive success tonight, as two recent healthy scratches, Chris Wideman and Kale Clague, put up a goal and two assists respectively in this game. Both defencemen had a lot to prove tonight after being scratched in favour of youngsters Jordan Harris and Justin Barron, and they responded relatively well by being involved in the play in all three zones.
Here’s your MHN Postgame Poutine:
GOLD STAR: Chris Wideman- Inserted back in the lineup tonight, Wideman showed head coach Martin St. Louis that he should be a permanent member of the defensive corps to end the season. The Canadiens defenceman put up a goal and two assists for three points in this game, all in just 17 minutes of ice-time. He made good plays, complemented his forwards well in the offensive zone and was instrumental in helping the Canadiens come away with the win tonight.
Les gagnants de la Coupe Molson continuent leur travail!
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 7, 2022
TABARNAK: Hammond’s horrible night: Andrew Hammond had a very tough night in nets for the Devils tonight, allowing six goals on a total of just 19 nights. Every time the Devils appeared to be gaining some sort of momentum in the game, Hammond wasn’t able to make a big save to keep them in the game. The former Canadiens goaltender would likely have liked a second look at a few of those goals, and ultimately finished the game on the bench in favour of Nico Daws.
TURNING POINT: Armia’s quick answer: The Devils had dominated the Canadiens in the second period, and had finally been able to beat Jake Allen to bring New Jersey within one goal of Montreal. However, less than two minutes later, Armia received a puck from Wideman in the slot and let go of a very precise and powerful wrist shot that gave the Canadiens their two-goal lead right back.
Wideman marque son 4e but de la saison!
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 8, 2022
HONORABLE MENTION: AJ Greer- The Joliette, Quebec native played his heart out today, in his first game in a Devils uniform. He played with a neverending hustle and was a menace around the net for New Jersey. He scored an important goal for the New Jersey, but was easily their most consistent player on the ice, setting the tone for his line every time they were on the ice.
BY THE NUMBERS: Here’s how the Montreal Canadiens lined up Thursday night:
Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki–Rem Pitlick
Brendan Gallagher-Christian Dvorak-Joel Armia
Mike Hoffman-Jake Evans-Josh Anderson
Tyler Pitlick-Ryan Poehling-Jesse Ylönen
Corey Schueneman-David Savard
Alexander Romanov-Joel Edmundson
Kale Clague-Chris Wideman
QUOTE TO NOTE: “He’s direct. He’s not sending anyone else to do his communicating. He’s been in our shoes. He treats us with a lot of respect and we have a lot of respect for him because of that.” – said Chris Wideman about his relationship with Martin St. Louis.