About Last Night: Habs can’t buy a win in Minnesota

Kirill Kaprizov scored two goals for the Wild. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 34 of 35 shots.

Article content

The last time the Montreal Canadiens won a game in the State of Hockey, Obama was President, Lady Gaga topped the Billboard charts, and Jacques Martin was behind the bench.

Advertisement 2

Article content

The Minnesota Wild clearly still have Montreal’s number. Not only did they beat the Habs a week ago at the Bell Centre, the Wild scored three unanswered in the second period on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center to hand Montreal a 4-1 loss.

Article content

Kirill Kaprizov scored two for the Wild, including one on a reviewed high-stick. Marc-André Fleury stopped 34 of 35 shots.

But before we get to the game, a shot fired by the Minny Jumbotron. What did Youppi ever do to you?

Advertisement 3

Article content

On to the game at hand. With more forwards than spots, coach Martin St. Louis did some more juggling, reinserting Jonathan Drouin and Rem Pitlick at the expense of Mike Hoffman and Michael Pezzetta. Evgenii Dadonov sat a second game.

After a solid, scoreless first for both sides, the Wild came out firing in the second. At 1:09, Mason Shaw opened things after Jake Allen served up a big rebound to the rookie forward.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Just over two minutes later, Kaprizov scored his first of the night on the power play off a deflection in front. The puck entered and exited the net so quickly, the officials had to go upstairs to confirm it went under the bar. Less than four minutes into the second, it was 2-0 Wild.

Advertisement 5

Article content

Kaprizov then scored another that needed review, this time from a coach’s challenge. Marco Rossi got his first NHL point batting the puck out of mid-air for his linemate, but was it a high-stick? St. Louis thought so, but upon review the goal was allowed to stand. It was as close as it gets.

Advertisement 6

Article content

The Habs tried to claw back in the third, but it wasn’t easy. Brendan Gallagher was buzzing all game but couldn’t find the scoresheet. Instead, he found Jared Spurgeon in Minny’s crease.

Advertisement 7

Article content

Then the suddenly hot Habs power play struck again. After some perimeter passing, Kirby Dach hit Nick Suzuki the bumper, who blasted a one-timer to finally put Montreal on the board.

Advertisement 8

Article content

Minnesota added an empty netter to end it 4-1, but before the final siren, Juraj Slafkovsky took a spill into the boards courtesy of Rossi. Veterans Chris Wideman and Jake Evans jumped in to back up their rookie teammate.

Advertisement 9

Article content

Arber Xhekaj confronted Rossi in the final seconds as well, so regardless of how one feels about the hit, the Habs sent their message that the first overall pick is off-limits.

And that was the main takeaway for the liveblog commenters. The Habs lost it in the second period, but they still came to the defence of a teammate in garbage time. Dach also slid into a tie for third in team points with a helper on the lone goal. Is he the stability on the other wing the top line has been seeking?

3. “Didn’t play horrible but just let the second period get away. Good news is we don’t see MINN again this season.” — Kelly Morgan

2. “It doesn’t matter if it was a clean or dirty hit, you don’t hit our first-round pick like that, and if you do, expect a visit from Arber Xhekaj, looking out for his teammates.” — Ryan Katz

1. “We’ve gone 2-1 on the road trip — other than the “fail hard for Bedard” contingent, anyone complaining?” — Michael Way

    Advertisement 1


    Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

    Source link