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Canadiens @ Golden Knights Top Six Minutes: A dominant effort, but just a single point

Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Samuel Montembeault’s 30th birthday. That probably explains why he’s getting the start.

First period

  • The game begin with an icing by the Golden Knights. I’m taking that as a good sign.
  • A flurry of three shots and just as many saves for Montembeault. You’re supposed to get buttered on your birthday not peppered.
  • A fumbled puck at the blue line and panic sets in for the Golden Knights defenceman as Josh Anderson races past him at full speed. He can’t complete the play, however. He needs a stick for his feet.
  • Meanwhile, Sean Monahan steals a puck from two defenders behind the Vegas net. If we could just put Anderson’s legs on him….
  • A nice follow-up from the Suzuki line keeps the Golden Knights hemmed for a couple of minutes.
  • Juraj Slafkovský gives the puck away for a scoring chance, but I’m sure none of our commenters noticed.
  • Montreal has taken over the play. Each line is getting some zone time, and Adin Hill can’t control prevent rebounds.
  • A glove to Brendan Gallagher’s face on a dump-in goes uncalled. Again, you know why.
  • Johnny Kovacevic makes a poor decision to jump up trying to catch a flubbed puck and the result is a two-on-one the other way. Montembeault may not have enough wind to blow out his candles if those breakdowns keep happening.
  • Now a poor attempts at a body check by Arber Xhekaj allows another mini break, forcing Jordan Harris into a penalty. The defence is being too aggressive right now.
  • And a power-play goal for Vegas. A deflection off the stick of Mike Matheson.
  • Hill looks around for the puck after every shot. If the Canadiens can spend more time on offence and less trying to recover from their own breakdowns they’ll have the Golden Knights on their heels.
  • Nick Suzuki thought he was playing rugby there for a second, playing the puck back as he went over the line. They don’t allow that in hockey.
  • Montreal gets a three-and-two, and suddenly Anderson bursts into the frame. It’s really a shame he and the team can’t benefit more from that speed.
  • Outside of those three big errors, it was a fairly even period. Three mistakes made by sophomore players, and you just have to expect those.

Second period

  • Matheson goes to the box for boarding, leaving Kovacevic as the senior blue-liner of the penalty kill.
  • Montreal sends three players on a short-handed rush, and there’s a two-on-one against. Still being too overaggressive trying for force plays to happen.
  • Montreal survives the kill, with that two-on-one being the only dangerous moment.
  • Another exceptional pass from Cole Caufield whipping the puck from a standstill on the left side of the blue line to the right. Will he actually end the season with more assists than goals?
  • Montreal’s getting another penalty for something on a breakout. A replay shows the stick of Slafkovský getting into an opponent’s face after he played the puck up.
  • Paul Cotter, who had credit for the opening goal, nearly added a second, but sent his shot off the left elbow of the net.
  • Hill can’t even control a slow icing from the penalty kill. He flubs the puck, and Monahan just has to wait for him to fly past his crease to deposit the puck in the net.
  • Monahan has overtaken Cole Caufield for the team goal-scoring lead; all special-teams goals. He’s the new Tyler Toffoli, but better defensively.
  • Despite three penalties, the Canadiens are actually leading in shots.
  • A giveaway from Kovacevic leads to another chance. One big error is acceptable, but two will require some intervention. With two days off coming up, Martin St-Louis can afford to shorten his bench a bit.
  • The sequence ends in the first penalty of the night for Vegas, so the Canadiens’ red-hot power play goes to work.
  • The Habs need to be using 10-foot sticks to catch some of these attempted passes. Not a graceful end to the power play.
  • Shots are 18-12 Montreal. They need another goal to consolidate this effort.
  • And on cue they get another power play. Hopefully the passes are more accurate this time around.
  • Zero for two on pass attempts to far.
  • Vegas hits the post seconds after the penalty expires. That close to the effort being spoiled.
  • It’s the second time the Golden Knights have attacked some tired members of the power play. The best way to fix that is to score a goal and get those players off the ice before they get tired.
  • A good pressure shift from the third line that’s going to be listed as the second line next game. Even if it results in a penalty for Tanner Pearson falling on Hill….
  • The second shot of the period for Vegas is a goal with Hill on the bench for an extra attacker.
  • A very undeserved lead.
  • Montreal heads to the dressing room trailing by a goal, which has been the winning formula lately.

Third period

  • A strong start to the third as Montreal looks for the tying goal.
  • Jack Eichel walks around Guhle, but Guhle still gets his stick into the play to stay off that highlight reel.
  • The top line has done more good work along the boards to get the puck back to the middle. Something that I highlighted in Caufield’s T25U25 profile.
  • Anderson uses his legs to drive to the net, and it draws a penalty.
  • It may be listed as a lower-body injury, but whatever is ailing Matheson seems to be more affecting his hands. He’s struggling with passes and receptions. The ice isn’t great in Las Vegas, but it’s not only the ice.
  • Alex Newhook fires a shot off the post. Pearson has a couple of chances afterward but the puck just won’t go in for Montreal.
  • Anderson just misses from point-blank range.
  • Jake Evans gets a mini break and … passes it back to no one. He must have thought he was on a power play.
  • Eichel skates into Montembeault and gets a penalty for goaltender interference. I was certain Kovacevic would get one to even it up for going after him, but it’s a power play.
  • You have to make this one count.
  • The top unit needs a more effective shooter than Anderson in the slot.
  • Pearson passes the puck to no one and the power play is over.
  • Guhle races to the net trying to deflect it in, but that play doesn’t work either.
  • This is basically one long power play right now. Vegas has no energy.
  • Suzuki picks up the puck behind the goal line, moves it out front, and tucks it into the net. The Canadiens have finally earned the tying goal.
  • Now they also have all the momentum to go for a winner.
  • Another shift spent in the Golden Knights’ zone. Can they finish this off in regulation?
  • A well-earned point, but the Canadiens deserve two. Time to go out and grab it in overtime.


  • Montreal has all the control of the puck.
  • But one break for the Golden Knights leads to a penalty shot.
  • The birthday boy keeps his team alive! You have to win it for him now.
  • Meanwhile, Suzuki and Caufield got a bit of a rest during that attempt.
  • The seas part for Guhle, but Hill gets a toe on his shot.
  • Another huge save for Montembeault getting across the crease. What a performance here.
  • An entertaining overtime doesn’t result in a goal, so we’ll head to a shootout.


  • Cotter is stopped on the first attempt, then brushes Motnembeault on the way by.
  • Suzuki scores. He’s just automatic.
  • Montembeault can really put the pressure on with a save.
  • But Jonathan Matchessault scores.
  • Caufield gets stopped. He’s 0/3 this season.
  • Eichel is stopped. So Monahan can win it.
  • But he doesn’t. On to round four.
  • Shea Theodore … scores.
  • Newhook … hits the post. Game over.
  • Montreal deserved the win, but that performance will go a long way for this team.

EOTP 3 Stars

3) That’s going to be one sore goaltender tonight

2) Have to entertain the fans

1) A very impressive effort all around