Kirby Dach scores two goals and the Canadiens defeat the Canucks 5-2
The day after a snatch victory, the Canadian won in a match with a very different scenario.
The Montreal team struck three times in the first period and defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre.
The Canadian had worked hard to defeat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Canucks defeated the Ottawa Senators 6-4.
Only one team seemed well organized on the Bell Center ice during the first two periods on Wednesday.
Nick Suzuki, Arber Xhekaj and Kirby Dach scored in the first half for the Canadian.
« I really liked our first period, » said Canadiens head coach Martin St-Louis. It was one of our best periods from start to finish. »
“It’s not easy to play a third period when you lead by four goals. A person who has nothing to lose is dangerous. [Les Canucks] took chances. […] You have to learn to play in these moments knowing what mentality the opponent will have. We have to keep playing while being careful with our decisions on the ice. »
Luke Schenn and Nils Hoglander replied in the third period for the Canucks (4-7-3). They were, however, unable to complete the ascent.
Mike Hoffman also hit the target for the Canadian (7-6-1) in the second period before seeing Dach come back to the charge in the last third.
Samuel Montembeault repelled 31 shots.
« Every night, the story is different, » said St-Louis. Sometimes it’s our guardian. Sometimes it’s our first line. Sometimes it’s our young defenders. That’s probably the beauty of team sports. Anyone can have an impact on the outcome. And that’s what’s happened to us so far this season. »
Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko had a rough night and stopped 24 shots.
Forward Michael Pezzetta was added to the Canadiens’ lineup for the second time this season. He replaced Juraj Slafkovsky, who was suspended for two games by the NHL for a dangerous check on Matt Luff on Tuesday against the Red Wings.
The Canucks lost forward Tanner Pearson midway through the second period.
The Canadiens will play their next game on Saturday, when the Pittsburgh Penguins will be at the Bell Centre.
An insurmountable lead
The Canucks were punished after a good first sequence and the Canadian took the opportunity to open the scoring after only 55 seconds of play.
Suzuki hit the mark with a quick shot from his favorite spot at the top of the face-off circle to the left of the keeper.
The Habs returned to the charge at 8:47. Xhekaj surprised Demko with a long shot after a faceoff won by Sean Monahan in Canucks territory.
Dach added for the Canadian with 7:37 to go in the first period. He took advantage of JT Miller’s nonchalance in his territory to block his clearance with a good forecheck. Even though he missed his shot, Dach took advantage of the surprise effect to beat Demko between the pads.
It was enough for the spectators to start making fun of Demko by applauding the Canucks goaltender each time he blocked a weak clearance in his direction.
The Canucks had better moments in the second period, but Montembeault stood like a wall in front of the Canadiens’ net. He made his finest save late in the engagement, moving to his right to frustrate Conor Garland.
Meanwhile, Hoffman had added a fourth goal on the clock for the Canadian. He beat Demko with an accurate shot on a breakaway.
Also, Demko had not helped his cause with supporters of the Canadiens, attacking Brendan Gallagher during a scrum.
Schenn finally put the Canucks on the clock at 4:45. Montembeault never saw his shot from the point because of the traffic in front of him.
Hoglander took advantage of a comeback after a pitch from Elias Pettersson to bring the Canucks within two goals of the Canadiens with 11:03 to go.
Miller and Quinn Hughes each hit the post on a Canucks power play, then Dach stopped the bleeding by beating Demko for a second time in the game with 4:58 left on the clock.
Locker Room Echoes
Kirby Dach was happy to see that the Canadian closed the door late in the game.
“Both teams had played the day before and the start of the game was very important. I think we dictated the game in the first 40 minutes. We eased off early in the third period and they took advantage of it. We showed maturity by closing the game afterwards. »
Samuel Montembeault admitted he was down on his luck when the Canucks hit the posts twice on a power play midway through the third period.
“I could see that the player was going to shoot in one direction, but I was just going down a butterfly. The puck went past me and hit the post on either side. I was lucky, but I’ll take it. »
Johnathan Kovacevic scored his first NHL point on Mike Hoffman’s goal. He was credited with an assist, although he only wanted to clear the territory of the Canadian.
« I don’t think the defenseman had possession of the puck. I think she jumped over her stick. I was a bit lucky, but sometimes that’s how hockey is. You can make a great play and it doesn’t work out, and then there are times when a play like that leads to a goal. I’m lucky that luck worked in my favor. »
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