No matter what happens to their season, we can never blame the Canadiens players for giving up. Faced with Sidney Crosby and his band, they once again demonstrated it.
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Three times during this meeting, the troops of Martin St-Louis came back from behind. On two of those occasions, the reply came less than a minute after a visitors’ goal.
With the result that the Habs satisfied their supporters with a splendid victory of 5 to 4 in overtime.
“It’s starting to be a trademark. We never give up. Tonight, we continued to believe that the way we were playing was going to get us where we want,” analyzed St-Louis, in his post-game press briefing.
It was Mike Hoffman, with his fourth goal in three games, who sealed the outcome of the match. To do this, he completed a skillful pass from Kirby Dach.
Back in the locker room, the hero of the meeting refused to appropriate the reflectors. He instead directed them at his teammates.
“The team is playing well. Everyone contributes, the goalkeepers are doing a great job. These elements allow us to have a chance to win every night,” said Hoffman.
The 32-year-old striker does well to mention it. Thanks to this win, the Canadian has collected at least one ranking point in six of its last eight games.
Moreover, this is the second time in less than a month that the Habs have surprised the Penguins, in overtime, on the Bell Center ice rink.
The Penguins played their second game in as many nights after defeating the Maple Leafs the day before in Toronto. As often seen in such cases, they played a typical road game. Liabilities while waiting for the Canadiens to make mistakes.
However, passivity has a price: that of having granted 42 shots to the Habs. These spent most of the evening buzzing around Tristan Jarry’s net.
Had it not been for a 1:43 slump that allowed Jeff Petry and Rickard Rakell to score early in the second period, the Canadiens might not have had to play catch-up hockey in the third period.
“There was a little two minutes at the start of the second period during which we weren’t there. Otherwise, I liked the commitment and effort of the guys,” boasted St-Louis.
“But it wasn’t because of a lack of work. It was just a lack of execution,” he continued.
Problem that the Habs obviously solved from the third period. Of the six goals that the spectators were able to put in their mouths, four were the work of the locals.
Enough to transform this rather dull match into a spectacular victory.
What we noticed…
ANOTHER TWO POINTS FOR SUZUKI
By scoring his 10e goal of the season and helping Cole Caufield’s ninth, Nick Suzuki delivered his seventh multi-point performance of the season. On a real streak, he has done it four times in his last five meetings.
DACH AT THE CUTTING EDGE
The Canadian tries by all means to stimulate his massive attack. Last night, at times, we saw Kirby Dash and Jonathan Drouin switch positions on the first power play wave, with Dach taking the lead. Nevertheless, it is with Drouin in this position that the Canadian, through Sean Monahan, managed to score (1 in 5).
LITTLE BULLYED YOUTH
The young players of the Canadian may have grown up watching the prowess of the Penguins on television, they were not intimidated by their presence. In the first period, Cole Caufield’s speed forced Sidney Crosby to take a penalty. For his part, Arber Xhekaj did not hesitate to firmly put Kristopher Letang in check. Kaiden Guhle imposed himself on Crosby by hitting him with a well-felt cross-check between the shoulder blades. What the captain of the Penguins did not appreciate.
PRICE ATTENDS PRACTICE
There was a big visit to the Bell Center in the morning. Carey Price and his son, Lincoln, attended the Canadiens’ morning practice. The goaltender accompanied a group of Cree Nation Bears U18 players and coaches. This is the team of Charly Washipabano, one of the coaches that the Habs organization had invited to its last development camp.