Canadiens Comeback Falls Short In 4-3 Loss To Golden Knights
The Montreal Canadiens suffered a third consecutive loss, dropping the final game of their west-coast road trip to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Despite Jonathan Quick allowing three goals in the third period, the Canadiens were, unfortunately, unable to complete the comeback against the Vegas Golden Knights.
They were able to pull themselves back into the game after a disastrous first period that saw them get out-chanced and out-hustled by the aggressive Golden Knights.
The Montreal Canadiens were aggressive in building themselves back up with a more assertive second period, and eventually took over momentum in the third period to make the game interesting.
It all started through the continued strong play of Mike Matheson, who continues to be a rock for the Canadiens at both ends of the ice.
His goal seemed to give the Canadiens some life and they showed some great character in fighting back to attempt to try the game in the third period.
Although the Habs were ultimately unable to complete the comeback, they showed a lot of moxy against one of the better teams in the NHL, all while improving their chances in the NHL Draft Lottery.
Your post-game analysis below:
At the beginning of the season, there was a heated debate as to who the Canadiens’ top defenceman would be, at least in the short term.
That debate is over, as Mike Matheson has come out and taken over that role after coming back to health in late January, posting 19 points in his last 29 games.
The veteran defender has been the Habs’ most used defenceman so far this season, playing an average of 23 minutes a game; but has seen his surge of late, playing an average of 24 minutes a night over the last month.
The 29-year-old has been the Canadiens’ most consistent offensive player on the back end this season, and he showed it again tonight.
He was the Canadiens’ go-to guy when it came to transitioning the puck up the ice and quarterbacking the offence while in Vegas’ zone.
As the Canadiens continue to build toward next season, Matheson’s growing role on the Canadiens’ defensive brigade will become a huge piece of the building block moving forward.
What a gorgeous goal by Mike Matheson. pic.twitter.com/mAh4qdSQCc
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) March 6, 2023
Early Bird Gets The Worm
The Montreal Canadiens most certainly did not get the worm in this game, and it was due to a sharp drop-off in play in the first period.
After coming on strong in the first five minutes of the game, the Canadiens took their foot off the peddle and allowed the Golden Knights to maintain possession in their zone at will.
Not only did the Golden Knights register two goals against Jake Allen, but they dominated the Canadiens in scoring chances (14 to 4) and high-danger scoring chances (5 to 1).
Vegas also controlled 67% of the shots against the Canadiens during that period, forcing Allen to make some very important saves to keep the Habs in the game.
The Canadiens did go on to have a far stronger second period, but the damage was already done, finishing the first frame down 2-0; a deficit they wouldn’t be able to overcome.
New Look Top Line
After a very slow start to the game, head coach Martin St-Louis decided to juggle the forward lines, removing Mike Hoffman and Denis Gurianov from the top line in favour of youngsters Rafaël Harvey-Pinard and Jesse Ylönen.
The result was quite positive, as the line shows great flashes throughout the rest of the game.
The trio controlled the puck on every shift and truly came to life in the third period, scoring a very important goal to bring the Canadiens within one goal of the Golden Knights halfway through the third period.
Suzuki started the play by jumping on a loose puck and sending it down the offensive zone to Ylönen, who quickly slid it up to the slot for Harvey-Pinard, who buried his eight of the season by Jonathan Quick.
Jesse Ylönen with the the perfect backhand saucer and RHP makes it 4-3 in Vegas! pic.twitter.com/8fUgk2TVPC
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) March 6, 2023
All statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted. Via NaturalStatTrick.
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Other than mentioning it was his first game after being traded to the Habs, did Allard even have his name called for the rest of the play-by-play? I guess that’s sort of a good thing. Kovacevic had a rough night for at least a little while. His fight was a win though.