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Canadiens Postgame

Canadiens Monahan Saves Gallagher’s Bacon In Exciting Win



Montreal Canadiens goalie patrick roy

The Montreal Canadiens hosted a very familiar name on Thursday night when the New York Islanders arrived at the Bell Centre.

Legendary goaltender Patrick Roy may have been coaching the opposing team, but given his success in Montreal, he’ll always be long admired as one of the best athletes in the organization’s illustrious history.

Fans did not hesitate to unleash one of their classic ovations when Roy’s footage from his time with the Canadiens was shown on the Jumbotron during the Canadian national anthem. It was a heartwarming moment, a reminder that more than anything Canadiens fans are drawn to winners.

It was a good lesson for all the young players in the lineup. Raise the Holy Grail in Montreal and you’ll never be forgotten.

GOTTA SEE IT: Canadiens Fans Greet Patrick Roy With An Ovation

The Canadiens emerged with a 4-3 win, but not before the Islanders rallied to tie the game late in the third period.

If you’d like to see the view from the other side of the rink, make sure to visit our sister site: New York Islanders Hockey Now.

Let’s take a look at the highlights!

Money Monty

After three rather difficult games, the Canadiens needed a strong start to build enough momentum to last throughout the entire matchup.

The Habs found the back of the net three times in the first period, but not before goaltender Samuel Montembeault made two great saves to keep the game scoreless.

Montembeault continues to be the team’s most valuable player by leaps and bounds, giving his offence as much time as possible to find its rhythm by constantly making impressive saves.

Let It Rain

The rest of the lineup followed Montembeault’s lead, starting with captain Nick Suzuki’s first goal in 11 games.

It was a picture-perfect play, with every Canadiens skater taking part in the passing play before Suzuki finally scored his 13th goal of the season.

Fans have been highly critical of the team’s powerplay, and for good reason. Seeing great plays like the one that led to the opening goal of the game is rare in Montreal, but at the very least we know the potential is there.

Sniper Cole Caufield got into the action shortly afterward, with his 17th goal of the season. It wasn’t the typical Caufield goal, which involves him beating the goaltender with a quick release and perfect accuracy.

Rather, Caufield drove the net, scoring a very nice goal thanks to his well-timed individual effort.

It was Caufield’s 10th point in the last eight games, indicating that he has recovered from his mid-season lull. Suzuki was given an assist on the play, pushing his season totals to 13 goals and 28 assists.

One More For The Road

The home team closed out the first period with a 3-0 lead, putting a fine point on the heightened level of preparation heading into the game against the Islanders.

Mike Matheson’s silky-smooth skating was once again at the forefront. He carved his way into the offensive zone before setting up Sean Monahan for an easy goal. It was also Montreal’s second powerplay goal of the period.

It remains to be seen where Monahan will land by the NHL’s trade deadline, but if he keeps producing at this rate the Habs may have a bidding war on their hands.


Long Change Situation

Following what must have been an animated first intermission speech from Roy, the Islanders took over the game in the second period.

They managed to beat Montembeault when Jake Evans gave them an extended 5v3, but for the most part, the Montreal Canadiens limited the damage. As per usual, Montembeault played a staring role, saving almost 30 shots in the first 40 minutes of play.

As for his defence, David Savard, in particular, was integral, saving a sure goal for the Islanders midway through the frame.

Suspension Time

The game took a dark turn when veteran Brendan Gallagher landed an ugly hit on Islanders defenceman Adam Pelech.

It was late, high, and he used his elbow to make direct contact with Pelech’s head, the epitome of a dumb play.

Gallagher has actually played much better than you’d think this season, and his underlying numbers reflect that fact, but he simply can’t afford to put his team in a bad situation with poor decision-making. He no longer produces as he once did, which means there’s very little margin for error when discussing his actions.

Expect Gallagher to receive a call from the Department of Player Safety in the very near future.

The Islanders immediately took advantage of the warranted five-minute major given to Gallagher, scoring two powerplay goals to tie the game in the dying minutes of the third.

The game was almost a guaranteed win, but Gallagher’s bad penalty gave the Islanders all the opportunities needed to beat Montembeault for a second and third time.

Last Minute Hero

Fortunately for Gallagher, his teammates picked up the slack, scoring a great, late game-tying goal. Caufield’s strong forecheck was the catalyst, but full marks to Josh Anderson for finding Monahan in a high-danger scoring area.

Monahan, once again, pulled through for the Canadiens.

The Montreal Canadiens are back in action on Saturday. They will face the Penguins in Pittsburgh. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 pm ET.

All Montreal Canadiens statistics are 5v5 unless otherwise noted. Via Natural Stat Trick.