Montreal Canadiens forward Josh Anderson put an end to his scoring drought on December 4 against the Seattle Kraken.
But an empty-net goal is far from satisfying for a player who is counted upon to provide offence on a regular basis.
Anderson hadn’t scored against a goaltender since March 13, 2023, a streak that surely weighed heavily on the power forward.
The veteran winger finally put an end to the story that had plagued him since the start of the year by scoring the Canadiens’ second goal of the game on Saturday night. He followed it up with his third goal of the season less than 10 minutes later, epitomizing the ebbs and flows involved in professional hockey.
When it rains, it pours, but when the clouds part, the sun can quickly erase yesterday’s worries.
The two-goal effort resulted in Anderson being named the game’s first star and an interview with Renaud Lavoie at centre ice following the Canadiens’ 5-3 win over the New York Islanders.
“Since day 1, these fans have been unbelievable,” said Anderson. “Their continuous support, we notice it every game. And we appreciate it, so thank you.”
The Bell Centre crowd erupted into an ovation for the veteran winger, who took the time to salute fans shortly afterward.
“Best fans in the league,” he said. “We notice it every game. We appreciate it. We love you guys.”
This overwhelms me with happiness pic.twitter.com/AZqpzrGGCj
— Habs enjoyer (@car3ypr1ce) December 17, 2023
Saturday’s game marked the last time the Montreal Canadiens would play at the Bell Centre in 2023. They are slated to head to Manitoba on Monday to face the Winnipeg Jets at the Canada Life Centre, the first match-up of a seven-game road trip that will keep the Canadiens on the road until January 4.
In addition to Anderson scoring twice, Cole Caufield scored his first goal since November 29. His play on the top line with Nick Suzuki and Juraj Slafkovsky has been encouraging, but the trio was having a hard time scoring.
Not only did two important players score, but Bell Centre fans also had a chance to celebrate an emotional win just in time to close out the year.