The Montreal Canadiens bested the Edmonton Oilers once more in a 3-1 win on Monday night. The Canadiens scored a goal in each of the three periods of play, beginning with rookie defenseman Alexander Romanov scoring his first career NHL goal from the blue line in the first period.
In the second period, Shea Weber scored a powerplay goal that was at first called off. However, additional review after a smart Coach’s Challenge by head coach Claude Julien overturned the call, giving the Canadiens a 2-0 lead.
In the third period, the Canadiens scored one goal apiece with Artturi Lehkonen’s first of the season on a breakaway whilst shorthanded. Devin Shore would also score a shorthanded which would be the lone goal for the Oilers.
Joel Edmundson Improving Following Tough First Game
Acquired via trade from the Carolina Hurricanes, defenseman Joel Edmundson stood out in the Canadiens 5-4 loss on opening night for the wrong reasons. Edmundson had even taken note of this and mentioned that he is still in an adjustment period with defense partner, Jeff Petry.
If the past two games against the Oilers are any indication, Edmundson has clearly improved his positioning and breakout passes, preventing a number of high-danger scoring chances from materializing.
The term and cap hit of his deal may remain a concern among many; however, so long as he remains consistent, those worries will be alleviated.
Jake Allen Acquisition Pays Off in Canadiens’ Third Game
Goaltender Jake Allen suited up for his first game as a member of the Montreal Canadiens. Allen was required early into the offseason from the St. Louis Blues, following a slew of failed experiments in the backup position the past several offers. Allen was acquired with the intention of minimizing the amount of games played by Carey Price, ensuring that the Canadiens starter is well-rested throughout the season, offering his team a chance to win.
After his first game, the acquisition of Jake Allen is already paying dividends. The goaltender stopped 25 out of 26 shots against, posting an SN of .962%. Given the inordinate amount of penalties taken by his teammates in front of him, Allen spent 14 minutes out of 60 facing the Edmonton Oilers powerplay.
While this was only one game, the hope is this new goaltending duo is what the Canadiens have been searching for in order to give their team a chance to contend in this condensed schedule.
Given that the Montreal Canadiens will be facing the Vancouver Canucks on back to back nights, it is expected that Jake Allen will receive either the Wednesday or Thursday start.
Penalty Kill Continues Hot Streak
A lack of discipline has been a running trend in two of the three games played so far this season. While it was a deciding factor in their 5-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens penalty-killing unit has been exceptional since then. In a cumulative 10 penalties taken the past two games, the Canadiens kept the Oilers off the board for each of them.
While this is an impressive feat early into the season after a dreadful penalty-killing unit in the previous year, the Montreal Canadiens players cannot afford to be taking so many penalties as stopping nearly a dozen powerplays per night is unsustainable. A more disciplined performance like that in their second game is much more ideal.
The Montreal Canadiens will travel to Vancouver where they will play against the Canucks in a three-game series beginning on Wednesday at 10:00pm ET.