A solid performance from goalkeeper Samuel Montembeault and a double from Sean Monahan led the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-2 victory against the Seattle Kraken on Monday night at the Bell Centre.
Some 72 hours after accepting a three-season contract extension with the Montreal team, Montembeault blocked 32 pucks, including 13 during the first period during which he made several saves that would become important.
Montembeault only gave in to Jared McCann, late in the second period, and to defenseman Vince Dunn, early in the third period.
At the other end of the ice, Monahan put the brakes on a 14-game lethargy without hitting the mark by scoring his seventh and eighth goals of the season.
Tanner Pearson ended an even longer drought — 19 games — by beating Philipp Grubauer, who faced 29 shots.
Above all, Josh Anderson finally broke the ice in 2023-2024 by scoring in an empty net with 31.6 seconds on the clock.
The Canadian will return to the Bell Center on Thursday evening to face the Los Angeles Kings. This will be the first of a stretch of three games in four days.
Montembeault steals the show
When two teams from the bottom of the peloton face each other, it is difficult to predict the quality of the show. In the first period, the best moments of the show were delivered by Montembeault.
The performance of the Quebec goalkeeper during the first 20 minutes of play allowed Martin St-Louis’ troops to return to the locker room with a 1-0 lead.
Montembeault first outdid himself in front of Alex Wennberg by blocking a point-blank shot with his left pad, a second after the end of a penalty to Mike Matheson, midway through the period.
Montembeault then frustrated Oliver Bjorkstrand, who had been left alone in front of the Habs net, before stealing another goal from Wennberg, who had pounced on a return of an awkward shot from Vince Dunn with just over three minutes left. play in the first period.
Before Montembeault’s exploits, Monahan had ended his long drought without finding the back of the net at 4:03 of the first period.
After a blunder by Jamie Oleksiak, caused by an effective forecheck from Jake Evans deep in the Kraken zone, Monahan only had to deflect behind Grubauer a pass from Anderson, the beneficiary of Oleksiak’s gift.
Possibly inspired by Montembeault’s saves, the Canadian players had a solid start to the second period. After just under seven minutes, they had added two goals to their cushion.
At 3:12, Pearson beat Grubauer with a wrist shot from Christian Dvorak’s blue line that Brendan Gallagher deflected.
About four minutes later, during a power play, Monahan scored his second goal of the evening, completing a nice three-way play with Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki.
Little threatening until then in the second period, the Kraken finally broke through the “Montembeault wall” with a little less than six minutes remaining in the engagement.
McCann thwarted the Habs goaltender with a lively shot into the upper right part of the net, after having had plenty of time to set up well on the edge of the slot.
Feeling the urgency to react, the Kraken players dominated the first moments of the third period. They cut the Habs’ lead on a power play thanks to Dunn’s fourth goal of the season, on a powerful shot from the blue line at 4:49.
The Canadian and Montembeault, however, held on until the end. And probably Anderson saw a heavy weight fall from his broad shoulders.