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Montreal Canadiens Start off Road Trip with a Shootout Loss

The Montreal Canadiens started off their 1st game of a 4 game road trip against one of the top teams in the National Hockey League The Florida Panthers. The Panthers were coming into this game with a 2 game winning streak and a record of 8-2 in their last 10 games. While the Habs just got off a 5-game losing streak when they beat the Arizona Coyotes and they were looking to keep it up in this matchup. The starting goalie for the Canadiens in this match-up was Samuel Montembeault as he picked up the start again after leading the Canadiens to the win against the Coyotes. However, Montembeault started off rocky in this game as Panthers Captain Aleksander Barkov slotted in his 14th goal of the season making it 1-0 Panthers. However just a minute later the Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki clapped back as he scored his 23 of the year making it all tied up at 1-1.The score stayed the same for the rest of the first period as the main story of this period other than those 2 goals were the penalties. In the first period there was 5 penalties given compared to only 3 penalties called the entirety of last game. This showed how the pent-up aggression between these 2 division rivals. However, in the second period 5 minutes into the period Montreal’s David Savard let the anger get the best of him as he got a 2 minute cross-checking penalty. 1 minute into the Powerplay Sam Reinhart capitalized as he got his 40th goal of the season for the Panthers. This goal was no ordinary 40th as with the goal Reinhart became the 4th Panther player ever to reach 40 goals in a season. However the Canadiens ruined the Panthers dominate period as Juraj Slafkovsky scored his 12 goal of the season with 00.7 seconds remaining on the clock in the period with the goal the score stayed tied going into the 3rd 2-2. In the 3rd the Canadiens used this momentum from their late goal in the second as they scored 3 minutes into the period as Alex Newhook got his 8th goal of the season on a Montreal Canadiens Powerplay. The goal by Newhook made Montreal get their first lead of the night. The game would stay like this until 7 minutes left in the game when Montreal was on the Powerplay again. However Sam Reinhart had a change of plans for this powerplay as he took advantage of a Montreal Canadiens give-away in the Neutral Zone and scored his 41st goal of the season making it all tied up at 3-3. The game would stay that way until the final whistle of regulation.

Then the game went to overtime and despite a few quality chances it didn’t solve anything so the game headed to a shootout. In the shootout the Panthers shot first and it was Sam Reinhart who went up and missed. Montreal’s Nick Suzuki followed his attempt with a miss of his own.Then Alex Barkov scored on his attempt so the pressure was all on Cole Caufield as if he missed the game would be over, however Cole was calm with composure as he to responded with a goal as well. Then with the chance to win it all Anton Lundell made Montembeault look silly as he deeked around him and potted the goal to end the game. With the goal the Panthers won 4-3 in the shootout and move to 40 wins. However, despite the loss and impressive goal by Lundell, Montembeault played good as he had 32 saves on 35 shots. Either way the Canadiens definitely proved themselves today as they were massive underdogs and no one even thought this game would make it to a shootout. The Canadiens still manage to stay at there same rank of 7th in the Atlantic as they still picked up 1 point in their losing efforts.

Overall, the game was predominately equal all game long as both teams had the same amount of goals scored in each periods, and the battles and scrums made it look like a playoff match. The Canadiens definitely looked better in this game then there last win against the Coyotes as they only had 20 shots put on target in that game compared to Arizona’s 38. However, in this game it was completely different story as the Panthers only had 35 shots which was 4 shots more than what The Canadiens had. Overall despite the penalties and what is definitely a game where it felt like they had the chance to win, it was an overall heart-felt game which they play at 110 percent and played to the very end. Hopefully this type of effort will continue by Montreal as the Canadiens look to rebound from this loss as they play The Lightning tonight at 7:00.


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