The Montreal Canadiens have lost eight straight games and are now assured to pick top-4 in the 2022 NHL Draft after their 6-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
It was a heated affair between the two rival clubs. The Canadiens and Senators played a rough and physical game that often saw plays end with players locked in wrestling matches after the whistle. Brady Tkachuk and Alexander Romanov were driving their opponents crazy all night and received a ton of attention along the boards, but both were able to fight through and be effective for their respective teams.
The Senators only put 26 shots on net against Carey Price, but proved opportunistic when presented with high-danger opportunities. They attacked the net with authority and beat the Montreal Canadiens’ defence to the puck in the defensive zone. Mark Kalestic did exactly that for the Senators, as he was aggressive between the dots and pushed the puck toward Carey Price every opportunity he had. The 23-year-old was rewarded for his efforts by scoring the first two goals of his NHL career.
The Senators really took over the game in the second period, where they scored four straight goals against Price. The Canadiens would never recover from that, trying hard to mount a comeback and getting frustrated at every step by Anton Forsberg. The Canadiens did their best to try and mount a comeback in the third period, but were unable to get any of their 16 shots in the final frame past Forsberg.
Cole Caufield was one of the few that was able to solve Forsberg in this tilt, as he potted home his 20th goal of the season, an impressive feat for the young sniper who only had one goal in his first 30 games. Despite the youngster’s rough start to the season, he has continued to evolve as a player over the last two months and was one of the more dangerous players for the Canadiens tonight.
Here’s your MHN Postgame Poutine:
GOLD STAR: Anton Forsberg: Anton Forsberg held down the fort for the Ottawa Senators, who did very little to limit the amount of chances he faced on Saturday night against the Canadiens. The 29-year-old goaltender made an impressive 44 saves on 48 shots against and was especially clutch in the third period, as he faced 16 shots against in a heated push from the Canadiens. Forsberg stood tall when it counted the most and was the most valuable player for the Senators en route to the 6-4 victory.
Rem Pitlick est laissé seul et en profite!
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 23, 2022
TABARNAK: Formenton Shorthanded Goal: After allowing four straight goals in the second period, the Montreal Canadiens stormed back and scored two goals to bring the score to 5-3. They were given a powerplay with a little over two minutes to play in the second period, and things were looking like the Habs were going to stage a comeback in the late stages of the period. Unfortunately for the Canadiens, Alex Formenton would jump on a loose puck and take it back the other way, beating Carey Price shorthanded and scoring what would eventually be the insurance goal in a 6-4 win.
TURNING POINT: Three Goals In 67 Seconds: The Senators took over the game during the second period, potting three goals in a matter of 67 seconds to give Ottawa a commanding 5-1 lead in the game. Parker Kelly started the flurry of goals for the Ottawa Senators, followed by Josh Norris and then Mark Kalestic; who all beat Carey Price off the rush in a very heated second period. Despite an attempt at a comeback from the Montreal Canadiens, this flurry of offence proved to be the difference-maker for the Senators en route to victory.
20e but de Cole Caufield cette saison.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 24, 2022
HONORABLE MENTION: Mark Kalestic: The 23-year-old forward had the game of his young career against the Canadiens on Saturday night, scoring his two first career goals, one of which proved to be the game-winner. The former 5th-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft was engaged right from the start of the game and did his best to navigate the high-traffic areas in order to recoup loose pucks and put himself in positions to generate offence. He was able to use his speed and size to create space for himself and his teammates and was not shy about driving toward the blue paint if he saw an opening.
BY THE NUMBERS: Here’s how the Montreal Canadiens lined up Saturday night:
Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki–Josh Anderson
Mike Hoffman-Christian Dvorak-Brendan Gallagher
Rem Pitlick-Jake Evans-Mathieu Perreault
Michael Pezzetta-Ryan Poehling-Tyler Pitlick
Alexander Romanov-David Savard
Joel Edmundson-Jeff Petry
Jordan Harris-Chris Wideman
QUOTE TO NOTE: “He was out for a long time. It’s hard to to get back to the form and be the goalie you’re able to be. It takes time to get back to the top of your game.” Martin St. Louis on Carey Price’s performances since coming back for injury.