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Samuel Montembeault Shines For Canadiens in 3-1 Win



Montreal Canadiens goaltender Samuel Montembeault

The Montreal Canadiens faced the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, a perfect opportunity to quickly forget their poor showing against the Buffalo Sabres the previous night.

Unfortunately, the first two periods produced less excitement than the frozen bag of Brussel sprouts you abandoned at the back of your freezer when you promised yourself you’d start eating healthier all those years ago.

The Canadiens did manage to win the day thanks to great goaltending from Samuel Montembeault and some timely scoring in the third period, resulting in a 3-1 win.

Arber Xhekaj, David Savard, and Sean Monahan scored for the Canadiens.

But, there’s something else we need to talk about.

Bear with me, here.

On Wednesday night, Canadiens fans were treated to yet another great performance from standout prospect Lane Hutson.

Don’t worry, we’ll get back to the Canadiens game in just one moment, but for now, we’re going to take a closer look at Hutson’s excellence.

We recently released the most current edition of the Canadiens Prospect Power Rankings, and admittedly, there was a certain debate about whether Hutson deserved to take the No.1 spot from Owen Beck.

Beck happened to score for the Steelheads on Wednesday night, but as has been the case throughout the year, Hutson also put his offensive prowess to the test, scoring two goals for the Boston University Terriers in their matchup against Notre Dame.

As the poet Mugatu once said, “That Hutson, so hot right now!”

Okay, back to the game!

Sam’s Club

Once again, Samuel Montembeault had an excellent start.

It’s becoming a recurring theme and a very pleasant surprise for the Canadiens.

His team produced a single high-danger scoring chance at 5v5 in the first two periods of the game while allowing the Blue Jackets to take six quality shots.

In total, Montembeault stopped 25 of the 26 he faced, including nine high-danger saves.

It could have easily been 3-0 for the Blue Jackets through two periods, but Montembeault made a series of excellent saves that kept the Canadiens in the game long enough for them to find their rhythm in the offensive zone.

With a very reasonable $1 million AAV, Montembeault continues to be the best-value contract in the entire Montreal Canadiens organization.

All About The Exit

Arber Xhekaj scored his third goal of the year off a sneaky wrist shot that fooled Joonas Korpisalo, and while it’s certainly encouraging to see Xhekaj find the back of the net with regularity, it was the controlled exit by Juraj Slafkovsky that was the catalyst for the scoring play.

You won’t see it included in the highlights, but Slafkovsky made the perfect decision combined with great timing, and within one second the Canadiens went from controlling the puck in their own zone to a sustained pressure shift in the Blue Jackets’ end.

Not all secondary assists are worth discussing, but Slafkovsky’s secondary assist on the Canadiens’ opening goal was a thing of beauty.

Footy Fever

They don’t ask how. They only ask how much.

David Savard’s first goal of the year came at a very opportune time for the Canadiens. It may have gone off his skate, but it was still a very good decision to join the rush, and thus Savard gets full marks for the effort.

It’s also worth noting Cole Caufield made an excellent pass to Kirby Dach before the goal, which gives us further evidence the young sniper is much more than just a goal-scorer.

The Canadiens are back in action on Friday afternoon, as they head to Chicago to face the Blackhawks. The puck drop is scheduled for 2 PM EST.

(All Montreal Canadiens statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted, via NaturalStatTrick)

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