MONTREAL – It wasn’t the Pittsburgh Penguins, but the opponents wore white and yellow jerseys. The Montreal Canadiens fed the Nashville Predators’ vengeance dish ‘lukewarm’ on Saturday by watching them 6-3 at the Bell Center.
Capable of both worst and best, the Canadiens have been unrecognizable for at least two periods, two days after being trampled 6-0 by the gang. Sidney crosby. They gave themselves a comfortable 5-0 lead, before weakening in the third period.
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“We are a proud group. Nobody wants to be humiliated like we have been, ”said Habs coach Dominique Ducharme. “We had a good working day on Friday and showed up for the game with a better attitude. We have to do this every game. And not just for matches, but also for training sessions. I won’t let go of the guys with one sole. «
Ryan poehling led the attack with a brace and Samuel Montembeault had a 33-save performance. The native goalie of Bécancour, near Trois-Rivières, relished his first win in the Canadiens’ uniform – a first in the NHL since February 11, 2020.
» It feels really good. It’s ‘fun’ to come and talk to you with a smile on your face, ”said Montembeault, who was starting a fourth game only since CH claimed it on waivers before the season.
“We played a good game. Being able to play with a strong lead like that took the pressure off me and made it easier. «
Artturi Lehkonen, Christian Dvorak, Brendan Gallagher and Tyler toffoli were the other contributors to the attack.
Juuse saros suffered the backhand in front of the Predators’ goal (9-7-1), giving up five times of 19 shots in 30:08 of play. David rittich pulled him up, blocking all nine shots he faced.
Alone Matt Duchene baffled Montembeault’s vigilance in the third period, twice on the power play, at 6:36 and 12:53, and on another round to complete his hat trick at 16:27. Duchene was on his 10th, 11th and 12th goals of the campaign.
After putting the brakes on a four-game losing streak (0-3-1), the Canadiens (5-13-2) won’t be back in action until Wednesday for the first stop of a three-game trip. They will be in Washington, where they will meet the Tsar Alex ovechkin and his fellow Capitals.
Montembeault keeps the fort
It was not perfect in the first half, to use an expression that Ducharme often uses. But the hosts came out ahead 1-0. Luckily for them, Montembeault kept watch by making some important saves.
“He made some key stops, for sure,” Ducharme agreed. “We always want to get the first goal in every game and he gave us the chance to do so. «
Montembeault frustrated Ryan johansen, which we had « forgotten » in front of him, shortly before Lehkonen opened the scoring against his friend Saros.
It was a great entry to the zone with Jake evans and David Savard, but the puck branched off on several skates before ending up near Lehkonen in the space reserved for the goalkeeper. He wasn’t going to miss the mark, though.
Montembeault subsequently saw to preserving the slim lead. The Predators were denied a goal because Luke Kunin pushed the puck into the air with his hand.
“We were the best team in the first half, but we weren’t rewarded for the effort,” said Predators coach John Hynes. “It got worse in the second period. We were victims of turnovers when we attacked in the opposing zone. «
Poehling strikes twice
The Canadians exploded for four goals in the second period.
Dvorak started the ball rolling at 1:06 am, delivering on the stunning pass from Josh Anderson close to the goal.
Gallagher inflated the lead to three nets at the start of a massive attack at 3:32. All five players were in on the action, Gallagher only having to lodge in the gaping opening the bright pass from Jonathan drouin.
Then, Poehling struck a heavy blow, hitting the target within 37 seconds of play, at 9:31 and 10:08. Saros only saw fire there both times. We put an end to his painful evening of work. Rittich replaced him.
It was the two fastest goals for a CH player since Guillaume Latendresse hit the target in 31 seconds of action against the Ottawa Senators on November 13, 2006.
Video: Canadians beat Predators 6-3
« Psychologically, I’m in a better state of mind than in my previous callbacks, » said the 22-year-old American, who has scored a third goal in six games since his recall from the school team.
“I tell myself that I just have to have confidence in my skills, knowing that the worst scenario that can happen if I screw up everything is a return to Laval, where I am appreciated. It helps me to do a good job so far. «
Before the end of the period, the spirits were heated. Anderson and Mathieu Olivier came to blows, the Quebec forward of the Predators being shaken the apple tree. Alexander Romanov put the fire to the table and the former Habs top pick Michael mccarron got paid the bill.
In third, Duchene saw to avoid the humiliation of a shutout to his own. He even made things interesting by bringing the score to 5-3, with 3:33 to go. Toffoli called off the comeback attempt, sending the disc into the abandoned net at 1:30 from time.
« I would have liked to have a shutout, I thought about it, » admitted Montembeault, who is looking for a first shutout in the NHL. “I found that the time did not drop fast enough in the third period. I gave three goals in the last 13 minutes, but it’s still a good game and I’m happy, ”added the 25-year-old Quebecer.