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Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens Call Ups Lead By Example In Exciting Win Over Maple Leafs

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Montreal Canadiens Rafael HArvey Pinard

The Montreal Canadiens hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre, in what would usually be a classic Saturday night rivalry matchup.

And yet, given the names in the Canadiens’ lineup, you could argue the Maple Leafs were facing the Laval Rocket.

Toronto took control of the game early, scoring on their very first shot of the game before heading to the first intermission with a 2-0 lead, but the plucky Canadiens flipped the script in the second period, showing fantastic resilience against a much more talented team.

In total, Montreal had nine high-danger chances at 5v5 in the second, one of their best efforts of the season, which led to a tie game after 40 minutes of play.

With the help of some excellent goaltending from Samuel Montembeault, the game was finally decided in overtime, with the Canadiens winning 3-2 thanks to Rem Pitlick‘s second goal in two games.

Center Of Attention

Given half the team is injured, it should come as no surprise that Nick Suzuki would receive the bulk of the defensive attention from opponents.

That was the case on Saturday night, but the Canadiens captain used the extra focus to create open space for his linemates, as evidenced by Josh Anderson’s 14th goal of the season.

By drawing the attention of both Leafs defencemen, Suzuki gave Anderson all the time and space he needed to connect on the one-timer.

It’s worth noting Rem PItlick, who was promoted to the top line after spending the majority of the season in the AHL, also played a crucial part in the goal thanks to good anticipation and great positioning on the forecheck

Rocket Line

The Laval Rocket’s top line was excellent from the get-go, showing the type of intensity and work ethic necessary to overcome a significant talent mismatch.

It wasn’t particularly pretty, and that’s exactly what the doctor ordered, seeing as the Leafs struggled to respond to the chaos created by Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Alex Belzile, and Michael Pezzetta line.

They played a physical brand of hockey, but it wasn’t reactionary. They were using their energy to create offence rather than simply chasing their opponents around the ice in a shortsighted attempt to hit someone.

Their hard work paid off in the middle of the second, culminating with Harvey-Pinard’s second NHL goal, his first at home.

The goal was the result of a nice controlled entry by Belzile, and a fantastic desperation pass by Pezzetta.

Segment 3

 


The Canadiens are back in action on Tuesday, facing the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM ET.

All statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted, via NaturalStatTrick.

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Tyrone

RHP showed why he’s called Lavallagher on his goal. That was a classic Gally tally right there.

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