A big consolation point snatched thanks to Montembeault and Suzuki

The Panthers are heavy. They are also fast, intense and grueling. Big shoulders… No way to breathe for a single second when you put the blade of your stick on the puck.

• Read also: CH loses in shootout

• Read also: “He’s got a lot of Barkov in him” – Paul Maurice on Nick Suzuki

Consequence of this reality. You spend the evening defending yourself, you prolong your presence, because you are unable to leave your territory. Fatigue then takes hold of you and places you in a vulnerable position. Either to make a mistake or to commit an offense.

Photo Getty Images via AFP

The Canadian players experienced it to the fullest on Thursday evening at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise. Nevertheless, although they were bottled up in their zone during the first 40 minutes of play, Martin St-Louis’ troops managed to extract a point from the Panthers.

The latter needed the shootout to win 4 to 3. It was the very last shooter of the session, Anton Lundell, who sealed the outcome of the match with a masterful feint at the expenses of Samuel Montembeault.

In these conditions, we can speak of a nice point of consolation for Montrealers. Still, this is a ninth consecutive loss (0-8-1) for the Habs in the land of alligators.

Thanks Sam!

The Canadian shook off his fleas in the third period. However, if the score was still close after two, it was thanks to Montembeault. Once again, the Bécancour goalkeeper was solid in front of his net. Sent into the fray in a second straight game for the seventh time this season, he faced a barrage of 36 shots.

Even Evan Rodrigues’ hook shot, which allowed us to see the size of Montembeault’s skates, did not get the better of his level of concentration.

Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart, with the help of his 23rd of the season on the power play and his fifth on the penalty kill, scored the locals’ three goals.

By being complicit in Reinhart’s 41st and 42nd goals of the campaign, Barkov now has 46 points in 34 games against the Canadian.

Running after the puck

The St. Louis troop did not help its cause by offering four numerical superiorities to one of the best massive attacks on the circuit (he still got five himself).

As we said above, this is what happens when you chase the puck for most of the evening. One way to avoid that is to win faceoffs. But, once again, the Canadian players were eaten whole. Even the two overtime faceoffs were won by the Panthers.

In fact, the Canadian did not often have possession of the puck so much that we can say that his first two goals were the result of rare brain cramps from the leaders of the Atlantic division.

On the first, Nick Suzuki was forgotten deep in the neutral zone. Spotted by a 120-foot pass from Arber Xhekaj, the Canadian captain thwarted Anthony Stolarz, on a breakaway, with a shot into the top corner.

On the second, that of Juraj Slafkovsky succeeded following a throw-in won by Suzuki, the Panthers’ defensive front completely froze.

The third, which gave the Habs the lead for the only time in the match, was the work of Alex Newhook. His first power play goal in a Canadian uniform.

Suzuki again

Once again, we can only strongly emphasize Suzuki’s work. With Montembeault, he was the spark plug for his team. He participated in all of his team’s goals.

A big consolation point snatched thanks to Montembeault and Suzuki

Photo Getty Images via AFP

In 11 games in February, he scored 11 goals and added six assists. You can immediately engrave his name on the Molson Cup for the shortest month of the year.

In fact, even at the level of the NHL, Suzuki has distinguished himself. Only Auston Matthews has flashed the red light more often than him in the past month.

After the match, the Canadian flew to Tampa where he will play for victory against the Lightning on Saturday evening. The Amalie Arena is another amphitheater where the Habs are struggling. He has a record of 1-8-2 in his last 11 games in this building.

It won’t be easy.

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