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Panthers 3 – Canadian 5 |  Nick Suzuki scores two goals in the win

Panthers 3 – Canadian 5 | Nick Suzuki scores two goals in the win

(Montreal) Samuel Montembault was finally able to enjoy a win over his former team, and he owed a debt of gratitude to his captain Nick Suzuki.



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Montembault stopped 37 shots, Suzuki scored twice and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Florida Panthers 5-3 on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.

The Canadian ended a seven-game losing streak to the Panthers. The latter had a 39-16 advantage in terms of goals scored during that sequence.

Montembault was 0-4-1 against the team that drafted him in the third round in 2015.

“The guys played really well. They scored me five goals tonight and I'm really happy with everyone's work,” said Montembault, whose win was just his fourth in 14 games since the All-Star break (4-7-3).

The Habs had another good game against one of the best teams on the gridiron. He reduced the damage in his area despite some costly mistakes in the first period and showed opportunism in the attack.

Suzuki did the job, winning his duel against the highly respected Aleksandar Barkov.

“I know he loves it,” coach Martin St. Louis said of the tough matchups Suzuki finds himself in night after night.

“It is not an easy challenge,” he added. There are nights where you'll have a good game, but opposing players will have a good game, too. I think he's reached a level of consistency in that department. He realizes it will be difficult, but he shows up to work with the right attitude. »

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Cole Caufield, Joel Armia and Jake Evans also scored for the Canadiens (29-33-12), which has won four of its last five games. Alex Newhook had two assists.

Suzuki became the first Habs player to reach the 70-point plateau since Max Domi during the 2018-19 season. Only Tomas Plekanec, Alex Kovalev and Sakho Koivu have also reached this plateau in a Canadian uniform since the turn of the new millennium.

“He plays with confidence,” Evans said of Suzuki. He faces the opposition's best players and does his job in defence. When things are going well at this level, the attacking side can take over. His comrades are also doing a good job. »

Barkov, Anton Lundell and Sam Bennett responded for the Panthers (47-24-5), who lost 6-4 the day before to the Maple Leafs in Toronto. Anthony Stolarz stopped 34 shots.

Defenseman Kayden Guhle has returned to the Canadiens lineup after serving a one-game suspension for cutting the Philadelphia Flyers' Travis Konecny. Jonathan Kovacevic has been ruled out.

For the Panthers, Matthew Tkachuk was not in uniform because he was sick.

The Panthers also lost the services of defender Aaron Ekblad late in the first half. He appeared to have injured himself during an altercation with Juraj Slavkovski after a whistle.

The Canadian will play his next game on Thursday, when the Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Bell Center.

Another effort was rewarded

The two teams studied each other early in the game and the Panthers finally opened the scoring with 9:16 to play, Josh Anderson and Jayden Strobel allowing Lawndale to escape, who beat Montembault with a nice pass.

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This goal seems to flog the Canadian. Armia orchestrated a two-on-one attack, but his pass to Newhook lacked precision.

Armia himself tied the game at 10:12, capitalizing on a comeback after a Michael Peseta layup.

The Panthers took the lead again with 6:47 left in the first half. Vladimir Tarasenko joined Barkov, forgotten in the pocket. The Finnish center also provided a clever trick to Montembault, who was wrong.

The Canadian had 58 seconds to play on a two-man power play late in the first period. Stolarz did his best to make the save by extending his right leg to frustrate Suzuki.

Brendan Gallagher's comeback attempt nearly allowed the Canadian to tie the game early in the second half. However, replays confirmed that the ball had not crossed the goal line, even if referee Eric Forlat first declared there had been a goal in the sequence.

It was just a reprieve for the Canadian. Suzuki made it 2-2 at 5:58 of the second period. He intercepted a pass from Dmitry Kulikov in the slot in the Panthers zone, then beat Stolarz with a low shot from the glove side.

“Emotions haven't been low for a long time,” St. Louis said of Gallagher's disallowed goal. [Suzuki] He made a big play.”

Suzuki came back with 7:36 remaining in the second period on the power play. He blocked a long shot from Mike Matheson into the net.

Caufield extended the lead to 4-2 after just 33 seconds of play in the third period. He beat Stolarz by curling around the net.

Evans delivered the final blow by scoring a shorthanded goal at 4:34, beating Stolarz on the Shield side on a breakaway.

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Montembo took care of the rest, even if Bennett beat him with just 1:16 on the clock.