Canadiens @ Avalanche Top Six Minutes: One goal isn’t what Montreal had in mind

It was better than the zero they scored versus the Bruins, but not nearly enough to overcome one of the league’s top offensive teams.

Playing well against some of the league’s non-playoff teams, it appeared the Montreal Canadiens weren’t prepared to play a playoff contender like the Boston Bruins on Monday night. Starting off the first of back-to-back games, the Habs players were eager to show that they were still in the post-season mix as well as they took on the Colorado Avalanche.

First period

  • A good start as Montreal keeps the Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen line in its own zone.
  • An even better start for Carey Price as he keep the Avalanche off the board with an incredible blocker stop on Matt Calvert.
  • Victor Mete doesn’t want to go back to Laval. An inch away from scoring his first NHL goal.
  • Price is being tested early and often, but his positioning is spot-on tonight.
  • Max Domi just about sets up Jonathan Drouin, but a great stick of Samuel Girard breaks up the pass.
  • And it’s time for a Canadiens power play! Nikita Zadorov thought a fan needed a souvenir.
  • Oh. They scored. Zadorov will have to put down his half-made sandwich.
  • Artturi Lehkonen goes in for the tackle from behind, and sees the yellow card.
  • The Habs survive Lehkonen’s sentence with their lead intact.
  • The addition of Charles Hudon to the line with Max Domi and Jonathan Drouin is leading to some good chances in the first.
  • The puck hits the post, but Jesperi Kotkaniemi calmly collects the puck and skates it off the goal line.
  • Shots are evened up now after a 6-1 start for the Avalanche.
  • The Habs get a chance for another power-play goal after Shea Weber is hooked with just over two minutes to go.
  • Well two in a period is probably too much to ask for./

Second period

  • Gallagher really wanted another goal to open the scoring, but his shot 13 seconds in just missed the mark.
  • Victor Mete is doing his best to get a point, but so far the puck isn’t making its way into the net for him.
  • The linesman just kind of threw the puck back to the point on an offensive-zone faceoff. He’s the only person in the sport who gets a mulligan.
  • Price tries to draw in MacKinnon and wait until the last second to move the puck to Weber, but MacKinnon is wise to the move, intercepting it and setting up an open Rantanen for the tying goal.
  • MacKinnon flying into the zone ranks second on the imposing scale behind only Connor McDavid. It’s a shame they weren’t able to compete on a line at the Olympics.
  • Jordie Benn gets away with wrapping his stick around the head of MacKinnon, and Landeskog takes a penalty on the same shift.
  • This is looking more like the power play we’ve all come to expect. Against the second-worst home penalty kill, the RDS graphic tells us.
  • Kotkaniemi moving well on the half-wall, but it doesn’t really matter when the other four players are stationary,
  • Shea Weber may have just added to his broken bone tally. At the very least it wasn’t one of his own players, but that has to hurt for Gabriel Bourque.
  • Lehkonen and Phillip Danault are doing great work on a penalty kill. Two great defensive players.
  • The game opens up with about two minutes to go. A beautiful passing play from four players fails to result in a goal. Another unfortunate play for Mete, who would have had the primary assist if Kenny Agostino had finished it off.
  • The shots were 14-4 for the Habs, but that one off Price’s giveaway was the only one that mattered./

Third period

  • That’s not the way you want to start a period. The Avs’ top line once agains zips into the zone, and Price challenges Landeskog’s shot, but doesn’t control the rebound, and Landeskog pounces on it.
  • Not much of a pushback from the Habs in the first third of the frame as they seek a tying goal.
  • This time Mete had a give-and-go with Paul Byron, but the puck never made its way back to him.
  • Just heard Bourque’s name, so either his hand isn’t broken or cortisone is still a thing.
  • Poor Mete.
  • Habs getting some urgency in their game with under 10 minutes to play.
  • Sustained pressure from all four lines now, but Grubauer is getting in the way of everything.
  • Carey Price tries to get to the bench with two minutes to go, but is forced to retreat when the Avalanche gain control. Unfortunately, his replacement was already on the ice.
  • Colorado holds the puck for a full minute with a delayed penalty. Good job by them, no so good from the trailing team.
  • Petry fires a shot off the side of Grubauer’s head and out. Close a short-handed tying goal.
  • MacKinnon gets hauled down by Gallagher to put Montreal down two. Could have been called an automatic goal, but the referee leaves Montreal with at least a glimmer of hope.
  • The glimmer winks out as the horn sounds on a 2-1 loss./

Highlight of the night

EOTP 3 Stars

3) Needed a bit more pondering in this one.

2) I think we all made that face. Except for those of you who decided to make a sandwich like Zadorov did.

1) Anything that makes Garry Galley speechless is a win in my book.

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