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Sports About Last Night: Habs hang on for single point in 4-3 OT loss to Preds

16:05  05 december  2021
16:05  05 december  2021 Source:   montrealgazette.com

Game Day Notebook: GM's positive COVID test is more bad news for Habs

  Game Day Notebook: GM's positive COVID test is more bad news for Habs Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme spoke with Marc Bergevin on Saturday morning and said the team’s GM was “feeling pretty good” a day after testing positive for COVID-19. Ducharme wasn’t on the ice for his team’s optional morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard but the assistant coaches who were on the ice were back to wearing masks. “I didn’t know our coaches were wearing masks,” Ducharme said when the masks were mentioned to him. “We’re going back to that? I didn’t know.” For the next 10 days, the Canadiens players and staff will be tested daily for COVID-19.

Dec 4, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Montreal Canadiens left wing Michael Pezzetta (55) and Nashville Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki (90) fight during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports © Christopher Hanewinckel Dec 4, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Montreal Canadiens left wing Michael Pezzetta (55) and Nashville Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki (90) fight during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Allen made 40 saves for the Montreal Canadiens in a 4-3 overtime loss against the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

The Habs hung on for a single point in the standings despite getting outshot 17-2 in the third period. Filip Forsberg scored the winner in overtime for the Predators.

Jack Todd: Habs need to make some moves during Olympic break, if not before

  Jack Todd: Habs need to make some moves during Olympic break, if not before It says a lot about your hockey team when it can manage to turn a 5-0 laugher into a nail-biter in the span of a single period. It tells you something when your GM is sick with COVID , yet he’s taking the time to do telephone interviews with handpicked journalists to give his view of things. It tells you something when you have a young talent who may be the puck-moving defenceman your team so desperately needs and he’s playing very well in a brief call-up but is still benched for a minor mistake, jeopardizing his long-term development for the coach’s short-term security.

There was some roster movement prior to puck drop. The Canadiens claimed defenceman Kale Clague off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. The Habs also sent down Laurent Dauphin and Corey Schueneman to Laval with the return of Mike Hoffman to the lineup from injury and Mattias Norlinder after being a scratch on Thursday. Josh Anderson, Jeff Petry, Brendan Gallagher and Sami Niku were all out of the lineup.

Eeli Tolvanen opened scoring for the Predators just under five minutes into the first period by deflecting a Mattias Ekholm point shot over Allen’s blocker. The Habs got two minor penalties in the opening 10 minutes of the game, but managed to keep the Nashville power play off the scoresheet.

Michael Pezzetta tried to get his club going in the second period. He slammed Matt Benning into the boards with a hit, then dropped the gloves with Mark Borowiecki behind the play.

The fight seemed to energize the away team, because a few minutes after on the power play, Nick Suzuki held and fired a top shelf laser past Juuse Saros for the 1-1 equalizer. Cole Caufield was the key distributor along the left boards.

Christian Dvorak single-handedly delivered the Habs the lead at the midway point of the second. He not only won a footrace against Alexandre Carrier to negate an icing call, Dvorak then went to the net to tap in a rebound off a David Savard shot for the 2-1 advantage. Montreal had the chance for more with a 5-on-3 power play, but couldn’t increase their lead.

What the Puck: Canadiens' change needs to start with a new head coach

  What the Puck: Canadiens' change needs to start with a new head coach Canadiens management is treating the team’s fans with utter contempt. The Habs are one of the worst teams in the NHL. They’re 30th in the 32-team league, but it’s not even simply the points. I had the misfortune of watching the 6-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday and the Habs did a good impersonation of a team that didn’t even want to win the game. When almost every player on the team sucks eggs, which was the case in Washington, there is something very wrong in that room. Yet general manager Marc Bergevin said a few days ago they’re staying the course, that no radical changes are coming.

Before the period was out, Nashville tied it 2-2 when Mattias Ekholm got his second assist of the night off a tip, this time with Tanner Jeannot elevating his stick just about as high as it can legally go for the redirect on Allen, who immediately went to the refs to protest the call. A review sided with Jeannot and the Preds.

Although the Predators did outshoot the Habs 17-2 in the third period, it was the Habs who got an early jump in the frame. After a solid defensive effort by Alexander Romanov to stop a streaking Matt Duchene, followed by multi-car pileup in the neutral zone, Caufield took the puck down the ice and found trailer Brett Kulak, who scored his first of the season to give Montreal a 3-2 lead.

Kulak had an uncharacteristic period, not only scoring but getting into a fight with Luke Kunin. It put both players in the running for a Gordie Howe hat-trick, since Kulak had a goal and a fight, while Kunin dropped the gloves and assisted on the Tolvanen goal. On his birthday, no less, Kunin got his goal for a Gordie, jamming it home with a teammate in tow at 10:12 in the third. Artturi Lehkonen had a chance on a breakaway late, but couldn’t beat Saros.

The Kunin goal sent the game to overtime, but not before Allen made multiple saves to keep his team in it. Allen made another two saves in overtime, but the third time would prove the charm for the Preds. Forsberg lost his stick in the corner, but it gave him time to slip away from the defenders and set up to Allen’s right. Granlund fed him a cross-crease pass and it was curtains for the Habs in Smashville.

On the 112th birthday of the most storied franchise in hockey, the current-day Montreal Canadiens needed their goalie to stand on his head for a point in the standings. It’s been that kind of season for the Habs, who fall to 6-17-3 with a Stanley Cup rematch against the Tampa Bay Lightning coming up Tuesday. Some interesting news on the Hockey Night in Canada hotstove: Montreal-born player agent Kent Hughes could be in contention for the vacant general manager position. His client list includes Patrice Bergeron and Kris Letang.

Why Marc Bergevin Went From Cup Finalist to Fired in Six Months

  Why Marc Bergevin Went From Cup Finalist to Fired in Six Months What decision(s) punched Bergevin's ticket out of Montreal before he could finish the last year of his contract as GM? © Provided by Hockey News on Sports Illustrated Marc Bergevin (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports) On June 27, 2021, Marc Bergevin greeted reporters at Stanley Cup Media Day, taking questions on his Montreal Canadiens’ miraculous, upset-laden post-season, expressing how grateful he was to see veterans Carey Price and Shea Weber reach their first final. Six months and one day later, Bergevin was fired as Habs GM.

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The Gorton Habs are winless, and the Liveblog commenters must be wondering if the new VP is watching the same games they are. Also, why didn’t Norlinder play more than nine minutes?

Canadiens Notebook: More line changes as coach looks for a spark .
Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme juggled his lines — again — at practice Monday in Pittsburgh. Ducharme had Nick Suzuki on the first line between Mike Hoffman and Mathieu Perreault, while Jake Evans was between Jonathan Drouin and Joel Armia on the second line. The third line had Ryan Poehling between Artturi Lehkonen and Cole Caufield, and the fourth line had Cédric Paquette with Michael Pezzetta and Laurent Dauphin and Jesse Ylönen rotating at right wing.

usr: 4
This is interesting!