The Montreal Canadiens put in a solid effort, but ultimately dropped their sixth straight game against the Minnesota Wild in a 2-0 loss.
The Wild’s top line quickly set the tone in the game, skating circles around the Montreal Canadiens’ defensive zone and controlling the play with their speed and skill. The Wild spent most of the first period in the Canadiens’ zone, chocking their transition play and causing high quantities of turnovers. It eventually caught up to the Canadiens, as Gallagher took an untimely tripping penalty six minutes into the game; allowing the Wild to go to work and take an early lead.
The Canadiens looked outmatched in the first period, but came out strong in the second period. For a moment, it had looked like the Canadiens had tied the game after a strong zone entry from Ryan Poehling allowed the young centre to slide the puck over to Tyler Pitlick in the slot for the quick goal. Unfortunately for Pitlick, Minnesota would successfully challenge the play for goaltender interference due to Laurent Dauphin launching a Wild defenceman into Cam Talbot.
The Canadiens didn’t let the disallowed goal hold them back from continuing to try and tie the game, but they just couldn’t solve Cam Talbot. Montreal eventually ran out of time and luck, as Matt Boldy doubled the Wild’s lead with a beautiful between-the-legs goal, jumping on his own rebound while Carey Price was at the opposite post.
It was a frustrating game for the Montreal Canadiens, who took 26 shots on net against Talbot, but the veteran goaltender was able to stonewall the Habs en route to a well-deserved shutout victory for his club. Although he may have allowed two goals in the game, Carey Price pushed back 28 of the 30 shots he faced in this game and was a major reason why the score wasn’t higher in favour of the Wild, as he made some good saves with his strong lateral movements and aggressive challenges.
Here’s your MHN Postgame Poutine:
GOLD STAR: Cam Talbot- Cam Talbot answered the bell and shut the door on every attempt the Montreal Canadiens threw at him. The 34-year-old goaltender made save after save en route to a convincing shutout against the Canadiens, weathering the storm for the Wild as the Habs came to life in the second period and late in the game. The veteran netminder has been great for the Wild over the last two months, and he continued his exceptional play tonight against the Canadiens.
So someone got a little too close to Carey Price, and four Habs got in his face at once. pic.twitter.com/0LnXfXBw1Z
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 20, 2022
TABARNAK: Tyler Pitlick’s Goal Called Back: Ryan Poehling and Tyler Pitlick combined for a pretty goal on the rush in the middle of the second period in order to tie the game at 1-1. Unfortunately, Laurent Dauphin pushed a Wild defenceman into goaltender Cam Talbot, which prompted head coach Dean Evason to challenge the play for goaltender interference. The goal was called back upon review, and the Canadiens were back to the drawing board.
TURNING POINT: Boldy Doubles Minnesota’s Lead: The score was still 1-0 for the Wild to start the third period when Matt Boldy jumped on a rebound in the right side of the Canadiens’ net and was able to pop the puck in with a between-the-legs shot into an empty cage. The goal took the legs out from under the Montreal Canadiens and gave the Wild command over the game’s momentum on their way to a convincing win.
Tyler Pitlick gets his first goal in a Habs uniform! pic.twitter.com/ZJjUT18g3x
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) April 20, 2022
HONORABLE MENTION: Kevin Fiala: The Wild forward was an unsung hero for his club tonight, contributing to both Minnesota goals and playing a sound, two-way game. Fiala’s skill with the puck and his speed of execution allowed him to dance around the Canadiens’ defence in the offensive zone, helping to create space for his linemates and a plethora of high-danger scoring chances.
BY THE NUMBERS: Here’s how the Montreal Canadiens lined up Tuesday night:
Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki–Josh Anderson
Mike Hoffman-Christian Dvorak-Brendan Gallagher
Rem Pitlick-Ryan Poehling-Paul Byron
Mathieu Perreault-Laurent Dauphin-Tyler Pitlick
Alexander Romanov-David Savard
Joel Edmundson-Jeff Petry
Jordan Harris-Chris Wideman
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I think we proved that, when we’re on our game, we can play with pretty much anyone. The first 3-5 minutes of the game were a little difficult, but we regrouped and played a real good game.” said head coach Martin St. Louis on his team not looking out of place against a top club like the Minnesota Wild.