The crown seemed to enjoy that anthem, so let’s see if that extends to the start of this game.
- It’s an energetic start, but the Colorado Avalanche get on the board first, a shot from Logan O’Connor beats Jake Allen.
- Minutes later, Bowen Byram simply shrugs off Kaiden Guhle and pulls the puck around the goaltender for a second goal.
- It’s nearly a 3-0 as Nathan MacKinnon gets in on a breakaway, but he shoots high and wide.
- Matt Nieto doesn’t miss on his open look. It’s 3-0 in what has to be the worst start of the 2022-23 season, and that is saying quite a bit.
- A desperate Avalanche team has come into this game on a mission, and the Canadiens have no answer so far.
- At the midpoint of the period, Nick Suzuki sets up Rem Pitlick for a chance. It doesn’t go in, but it’s a sign of life.
- Anthony Richard races in but can’t quite catch up with the puck. Part of the reason was that Jack Johnson was holding his jersey, but the ref decides not to call it.
- Moments later it’s Mike Matheson heading to the box for a high stick, which the referee did catch.
- A loud ovation for Artturi Lehkonen coming out of the final commercial break. He deserves in, even if not enough people believed so while he was here.
- His response? A power-play goal.
- And he gets another cheer. It’s the MAF game all over again.
- Pitlick crashes chest-first into the boards. The insult is great enough in this game, we don’t need to add another injury.
- Sportsnet takes the chance to play around with some visual tags on the puck-carriers, in case you want to be sure of who isn’t shooting it on the power play.
- In the dying second, Josh Anderson tips a shot, and the Canadiens go to the dressing room with a bit of life.
- Rem Pitlick won’t return to the game after the hard collision with the boards. Perhaps we will see Joël Teasdale tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.
- The second period begins with a shot off the post behind Allen.
- We also have a scoring change on the first goal. It’s now credited to Lehkonen, so he’s one away from a hat trick. He will get some hats if he completes it.
- He now has 14 two-goal games in his career, four with Colorado.
- Rantanen doesn’t hit the post. the lead is four once more.
- The puck goes in Allen’s net for a sixth time, but the ref blew that one down early.
- J.t. Compher. Lehkonen assist. Allen exits at 6-1.
- Three people in the upper bowl loudly cheer when Samuel Montembeault’s arrival is announced.
- RDS has done a merciful thing and taken the scoreboard off the screen.
- The crowd is trying to work itself back in the game. It helps that the Avalanche have relented a bit in their attack.
- Montembeault shuts down Lehkonen’s hat-trick attempt.
- Josh Anderson gets in on a break looking to start his count to 30, but Alexandar Georgiev stops him.
- He’s upset about missing it, and I take that as a good sign. He has his own personal bar for performance this season. A bit work on his shot in the off-season might be the order from the development staff.
- Lehkonen leaves for the dressing room. The demons must have heard the crowd cheering for him and thought he was a member of the Habs.
- Out of nowhere, things get heated after MacKinnon takes down Guhle, then goes after him to embellishing it. (It was a bit of a flight from the rookie).
- The Habs get the last blow in, and it’s Denis Gurianov with another late-period goal.
- Some more animosity to start the third. Anderson is involved.
- Now he hits the post. It’s not hard to have a standout effort on this night, but it’s still something worth noting.
- There’s a Canada-USA baseball game coming up after this, but I fear that won’t be much more competitive than this Habs game.
- No return for Lehkonen tonight. No one is happy about that.
- Nathan MacKinnon drives right past Montreal’s defence and makes it 7-2. This time Johnny Kovacevic is posterized.
- But Chris Wideman head down to the other end shortly afterward, and it’s 7-3.
- Anderson connects with Matheson, and suddenly it’s 7-4.
- Nick Suzuki nearly creates a play for Montreal’s fifth goal, but it doesn’t happen, and Anderson ends up with a penalty.
- A power-play goal for Colorado is going to put a halt to the improbable comeback attempt.
- A coming together between Michael Pezzetta and Byram results in both players dropping their gloves. Byram just did so so he could hold on for dear life. They get misconducts so they can’t have a second round at the end of the game.
- It ends 8-4, but it was fun for a couple of minutes there.
EOTP 3 Stars
3) Not the game plan St-Louis drew up
2) They even saw Chris Wideman raise his trade value
1) He was just exhausted