The Canadiens players saw it coming, but they were not able to retain the emotions of the day before. They lost against another of the NHL’s good teams.
Conor Garland and Dakota Joshua each collected a goal and an assist, Casey DeSmith stopped 30 shots and the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Montreal hockey club 5-2 on Sunday evening at the Bell Centre.
The Canadian defeated the best team in the NHL, the Boston Bruins, on Saturday, winning 3-2 in overtime.
Only 24 hours later, Martin St-Louis’ troops showed less opportunism, while their opponent took advantage of their chances at even strength to win.
“I think we played a great game yesterday (Saturday) and we had emotion and the wind in our sails,” said defenseman Mike Matheson. It would have been really good to continue this momentum in another match and start next week with this pace. »
Matheson and Arber Xhekaj scored for the Canadian (7-6-2) in the third period. Jake Allen made 32 saves.
“The emotion wasn’t the same (as against the Bruins), but I liked our game,” insisted St-Louis. We lost on the board, but the match could have gone either way. It was close.
“In the first, we lacked a little execution. Then secondly, we were not opportunistic. But I’m happy with the match we played against a good team. »
Ilya Mikheyev, Phillip Di Giuseppe and Brock Boeser also hit the target for the Canucks (11-3-1), who recorded a ninth victory in their last 11 games (9-1-1). JT Miller had two assists.
Before the meeting, the Canadian had transferred attacker Joel Armia to the Laval Rocket and recalled defender Gustav Lindström. The latter served as a spare tire if Jordan Harris was unable to play.
Harris did not finish the game the day before, against the Boston Bruins, suffering an upper body injury in the second period. He was finally able to face the Canucks.
The Canadian will play their next game on Tuesday, when they host the Calgary Flames at the Bell Centre.
In favor of visitors
Tanner Pearson came closest to scoring in the first 20 minutes of play. The former Canucks forward, however, reached the post when he fired a shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle by DeSmith.
Garland opened the scoring at 6:15 of the second period. He deflected a JT Miller delivery into the goal.
Mikheyev widened the gap at 9:17. He beat Allen with a sharp shot from the glove side. The Habs goalie had lost his stick earlier in the sequence.
“It’s not easy when you lose your stick,” Allen said. I looked back, but we never carried the disc into the opposing zone. I didn’t want to risk abandoning my net. I’ve done it before in the American League and the opposing team scored on a long shot. »
Between the visitors’ two goals, Christian Dvorak thought he had scored for the Canadian at 7:56 a.m. However, coach Rick Tocchet won his case during a challenge since the restarts showed that there had been offside when entering the area.
Joshua dealt a hard blow to the Habs by widening the gap to 3-0 with 2:03 remaining in the second period. He took advantage of a comeback after two attempts by Garland.
Juraj Slafkovsky had a good second period for the Canadian, but he came up against DeSmith three times, including twice in quick succession when the score was 2-0 in favor of the Canucks.
“When we compare with last season, he is more comfortable,” noted St-Louis about Slafkovsky. He touches the puck more. The next step for him is to be more efficient when he touches the puck. »
DeSmith, who briefly belonged to the Canadiens this summer and who received a Habs jersey before the game on Sunday, also frustrated Brendan Gallagher late in the second period. Gallagher had just intercepted a pass at the Canucks blue line and quickly opted for a wrist shot. DeSmith stepped forward and made the save. The curse shouted by Gallagher upon his return to the bench resonated all the way to the heights of the Bell Centre.
Matheson restarted the Canadian at 6:46, when a two-man power advantage had just ended.
Sean Monahan then missed a golden opportunity to reduce the gap to a single goal. His one-timer was not very clear after a cross pass from Pearson.
At the other end of the ice, Allen kept the Canadian in the game with a spectacular save on Mikheyev. The New Brunswick goalkeeper stretched his right pad to make the save.
Allen then was smoking against Di Giuseppe, who thought he had an open net in front of him.
Despite everything, it was DeSmith and the Canucks who had the last laugh. Boeser delivered the final blow by scoring into an empty net with 90 seconds left in the game.
Xhekaj surprised DeSmith with 48.5 seconds left, but the damage was done. Di Giuseppe scored another empty-net goal for the Canucks before the game ended.