Jared McCann and Vancouver Canucks ice red-hot start for Montreal Canadiens in NHL
It took only minutes into Tuesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks for the Montreal Canadiens season-opening, nine-game winning streak to feel in jeopardy.
Moments after Daniel Sedin rang a goal off the post, Canucks rookie Jared McCann scored 2:30 into the game to put Vancouver ahead.
It was the first time Montreal gave up a first-period goal all season and a preview of bad things to come in a 5-1 loss at Rogers Arena.
The Canadiens (9-1-0) came into the game red-hot and with a chance to match a league record with 10 consecutive wins to start the season. Only the Toronto Maple Leafs (1993/94) and Buffalo Sabres (2006/07) have opened a season with 10 straight victories.
But whether all the talk of Montreal’s win streak was weighing on the Canadiens, captain Max Pacioretty wasn’t about to admit it.
“Other people talked about it, we didn’t,” he said after the game. “We’ve gotten off to a great start this year, 9-1. But we’re not happy. You’re only as good as your last game and we weren’t very good tonight.”
Vancouver, who were looking for their first home win of the season, came out looking like a team who wanted to stop Montreal’s winning ways. After McCann’s goal, a Luca Sbisa blast was tipped in accidentally by Montreal’s Nathan Beaulieu midway through the first.
At 15:52 McCann got his second of the night when he took a pass from ex-Canadien Brandon Prust in the slot and fired it past Carey Price to make it 3-0.
Price, the reigning Hart and Vezina Trophy winner, looked beatable for the first time this season. He came into the game with only nine goals against in seven starts this season. On Tuesday, he gave up five goals on 28 shots.
“We left Price looking stranded and there’s no excuse for that,” said Pacioretty. “We have to be better.”
“That’s not the game we wanted to play and not the start we wanted,” added Canadiens defenceman Jeff Petry. “We weren’t on top of our game to start. We gave them the puck and they were able to make plays. To give them a 3-goal lead wasn’t the ideal start.”
Early in the third period Torrey Mitchell tipped in an Alexei Emelin blast from the blue line to put the Canadiens on the board 3-1, as spatters of “Go Habs Go” erupted in the crowd. It looked like Montreal were swinging the momentum, but a penalty for having too many men on the ice soon after resulted in Radim Vrbata’s power-play goal at 7:50 to make it 4-1 Vancouver.
“I don’t think the score indicates the game,” said Montreal head coach Michel Therrien. “The Too Many Men we don’t think was a Too Many Men. (Alexander) Semin never played the puck, and took away all the momentum that we were trying to build.”
The Canadiens will have a chance to start a new win streak when they play their next game in Edmonton on Thursday.
Elsewhere in the NHL
Dallas Stars 4, Anaheim Ducks 3
Antoine Roussel scored with 1:28 to play, completing Dallas’ comeback from a three-goal deficit.
Patrick Sharp, Cody Eakin and John Klingberg scored in the second period for Dallas, who trailed 3-0 after one period. Antti Niemi had 17 saves to help the Stars improve to 7-2.
Anaheim, who have lost eight of their first nine games (1-6-2), entered with just six goals this season.
Mike Santorelli, Shawn Horcoff and Carl Hagelin scored for the Ducks in the final 5:16 of the first period. Frederick Andersen finished with 30 saves, including 15 in the third period.
St Louis Blues 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 0
Jake Allen stopped 26 shots for his sixth career shutout, leading St Louis to the win.
Scott Gomez and Troy Brouwer scored as the Blues beat the Lightning for the fourth straight time, and sixth in the last seven meetings.
Ben Bishop, who was teammates with Allen on Peoria of the AHL for two seasons, had 22 saves for the Lightning.
Gomez gave the Blues the lead when he tipped in a long shot by rookie defenceman Colton Parayko at 15:59 of the first. It was Gomez’s first goal with the Blues and No 181 for his career.
Brouwer added an empty-net goal with 41 seconds remaining.
Los Angeles Kings 4, Winnipeg Jets 1
Milan Lucic snapped a tie with his second goal of the season at 15:19 of the third, and the Kings earned their sixth straight victory.
Tyler Toffoli looked as if he was going to shoot before sending the puck across the front of the net and Lucic was credited with redirecting it past Ondrej Pavelec. Toffoli added an empty-net goal at 19:06, and Trevor Lewis scored with 27 seconds left.
Jonathan Quick, who has won his last five games, made 24 saves for the Kings. Pavelec stopped shots.
Winnipeg forward Nikolaj Ehlers and Los Angeles defenceman Jake Muzzin scored in the second.
Columbus Blue Jackets 3, New Jersey Devils 1
Boone Jenner and Cam Atkinson scored 35 seconds apart in the third period, and Columbus stopped New Jersey’s four-game win streak.
Scott Hartnell added an unassisted goal later in the period as the Blue Jackets won their second straight game under new coach John Tortorella despite having only 14 shots. Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves.
Bobrovsky lost his bid for a shutout with 2:28 to play when Kyle Palmieri scored on a power-play rebound.
The four-game winning streak matched the Devils’ longest of last season.
Minnesota Wild 4, Edmonton Oilers 3
Charlie Coyle scored for Minnesota midway through the third period, 43 seconds after Ryan Suter’s second goal of the game thwarted Edmonton’s rally.
Darnell Nurse scored his first NHL goal soon after the second intermission, giving the Oilers the lead following a 2-0 deficit in the first period, but the Wild roared back against goalie Cam Talbot.
Suter knocked in a loose puck from the crease. Then Coyle crashed the net and tapped in the setup from Thomas Vanek, who had two assists and has at least one point in four straight games.
Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist for the Oilers, who fell to 3-7 under new coach Todd McLellan with 18-year-old Connor McDavid now headlining a lineup with four of the last six players taken with the first overall pick in the draft.
Florida Panthers 4, Colorado Avalanche 1
Vincent Trocheck had two goals and an assist for Florida, and Roberto Luongo passed Grant Fuhr for sole possession of ninth on the wins list with No 404 for his career.
Brian Campbell added a goal and two assists and Reilly Smith also had a goal and an assist. Luongo made 31 saves in the Panthers’ second straight victory.
Colorado have dropped four in a row. Gabriel Landeskog scored, and Reto Berra stopped 24 shots.
Trocheck’s second power-play goal at 2:56 of the third extended Florida’s lead to 2-0.
Buffalo Sabres 4, Philadelphia Flyers 3 OT
Zemgus Girgensons scored on a breakaway with 2:31 left in overtime, lifting the Sabres to the victory.
Jake McCabe, Tyler Ennis and Jamie McGinn scored for Buffalo, who snapped a two-game skid while winning for the first time on the road in their third try.
Brayden Schenn had two goals and Chris VandeVelde also scored for Philadelphia.
After the Flyers turned it over in their end, Carlo Colaiacovo sent a long pass to a wide-open Girgensons, who beat Steve Mason.
Carolina Hurricanes 3, Detroit Red Wings 1
Victor Rask and Ron Hainsey scored to lead Carolina to the victory.
Eric Staal added an empty-net goal with 30 seconds left, and Cam Ward stopped 24 shots for the Hurricanes.
Carolina are 2-1 against Detroit this season, with both wins coming on the road, but just 1-5 against the rest of the league.
Jakub Kindl scored for Detroit, and Petr Mrazek stopped 18 shots.
Hainsey’s slap shot beat a screened Mrazek for the tiebreaking score at 4:36 of the third.
Boston Bruins 6, Arizona Coyotes 0
Tuukka Rask made 24 saves for his 27th career shutout, David Krejci scored two goals and Boston got their first home win of the season.
Jimmy Hayes, Joe Morrow, Brett Connolly and Brad Marchand also scored for the Bruins, who had lost their first four homes games (0-3-1). Hayes, Loui Eriksson and Matt Beleskey each had two assists.
Mike Smith stopped 21 shots for the Coyotes, who played their fifth road game in eight days, finishing their trip at 2-2-1.
The Bruins also beat the Coyotes 5-3 in Arizona on October 17.
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Published: October 28, 2015 04:00 AM