(Buffalo) L’entraîneur-chef Martin St-Louis doit jongler avec trois gardiens depuis le début de la saison alors que le Québécois Samuel Montembeault, l’espoir Cayden Primeau et le vétéran Jake Allen ont tous résisté aux dernières coupures lors du camp d’entraînement.
Allen ne veut pas être le laissé-pour-compte et il l’a prouvé en signant une performance de 36 arrêts, lundi, dans un gain de 3-1 du Canadien de Montréal contre les Sabres de Buffalo.
Allen a notamment eu à effectuer un arrêt important du gant aux dépens de Jeff Skinner en infériorité numérique, au troisième tiers, alors que le défenseur David Savard avait perdu une lame de patin. Le gardien conservait ainsi l’avance de 2-1 des siens.
Après une performance sans éclat en lever de rideau dans une défaite de 5-4 aux mains des Maple Leafs de Toronto, l’homme masqué de 33 ans a remporté un deuxième match en trois jours. Il montre un taux d’efficacité de ,929 jusqu’ici, n’ayant cédé que trois fois à ses deux dernières sorties.
« Il calme le groupe quand l’autre équipe [attaque]St. Louis said of his team’s goaltender. We had a good start, but we got a penalty and that put us in a bit of a difficult position. He did the job. […] Jake made some big saves for us and kept the score close. »
The Canadian dominated 37-26 in shots on goal, and showed opportunism to win. If the game wasn’t perfect, St. Louis kept some good things from this one.
“It wasn’t Picasso, and nothing was perfect. They spent some time in our zone and we defended ourselves well,” the coach said. “It looked like the puck was bouncing everywhere for us in the attacking zone. We were patient, took big penalties and scored a goal.” in the end. ”
Brendan Gallagher took advantage of a rare opportunity from the visitors in the third period to score the winning goal.
After Savard guided the puck toward the Sabers cage on a handoff from Tanner Pearson, Gallagher went in front of Eric Comrie to push the puck between the goaltender’s pads, not without being subjected to double misses by his opponents.
“It’s a great example,” St. Louis said of the veterans’ work. They are hockey players. Not just guys who play hockey, hockey players. There is a big difference and he is a great example for our youth. »
“The best way to be a leader is to lead by example. It is important to have that.”
To cap off the victory, Pearson made a move on the power play in the third period. This was only the team’s third goal since the start of the season.
Justin Barron opened the scoring early in the first half. Arbor
Barron played just his second game of the season after being left out of the No. 7 defense position for the Canadiens’ first three games of the season. On Monday, he became the first fullback to score a goal for the Habs in the 2023-24 season.
The Sabers responded less than five minutes later as Skinner found the slot over Allen’s left shoulder from a tight angle on the power play.
He was 24H Goal in 39 games for Skinner against the Habs. Only Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin (37 to 56) and Toronto Maple Leafs captain Auston Matthew (26 to 32) performed better among active players.
Comrie stopped 23 of the 26 balls he faced in the loss.
After this brief visit to Buffalo, CH will return to the Bell Center on Tuesday, where it will play a second game in as many evenings, this time against the New Jersey Devils. That same evening, the Sabres will be in Ottawa to square off with the Senators.
The Montreal team will also be able to benefit from the support of its fans on Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and then on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets.
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