Wednesday, December 1

Canadiens keep things close but fall 2-1 to Leafs in season opener

Jonathan Drouin produced the good moment of the night for Montreal when he opened the scoring after a 2v1 with Josh Anderson.

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Defense is the big question mark for the Canadiens, who have lost stalwarts Shea Weber and Phil Danault and are dealing with the temporary absences of goalkeeper Carey Price, defender Joel Edmundson and penalty killer extraordinary Paul Byron.


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In the hours leading up to the season opener against the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday night, coach Dominique Ducharme expressed his confidence in his team despite some spotty performances in the preseason.

“It won’t be perfect, but we’re comfortable,” Ducharme said. “We work (during training camp and preseason games) and we’re getting closer to where we want to be.”

As predicted, the defense wasn’t perfect, but goalie Jake Allen and his friends kept the game close before William Nylander scored for the run, hitting a shot under the crossbar on the side of Allen’s glove early in the third period. to break a 1-1 tie. and propel the Leafs to a 2-1 win in the season opener for both clubs.

The Canadiens lost their chance to tie the game later in the period. They enjoyed a 5-on-3 lead to 1:44 after Jason Spezza and Mitch Marner committed back-to-back penalties, but Montreal managed only one shot on goal.


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Montreal had another power play midway through the third period and this time collected four shots on goal, but Toronto goalie Jack Campbell was sharp, particularly on a shot that was deflected by a Leafs defender.

Allen, who gave up 10 goals in five periods to end the preseason, rejected 28 shots while Campbell made 30. save.

Jonathan Drouin of the Canadiens celebrates after scoring the opening goal on Wednesday night in Toronto.
Jonathan Drouin of the Canadiens celebrates after scoring the opening goal on Wednesday night in Toronto. Photo by Dan Hamilton /USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Drouin produced the good moment of the night when he opened the scoring at 7:22 of the first half. Drouin was making his first appearance since retiring from warm-up for an April 23 game in Calgary.

Drouin walked away from gambling to deal with anxiety and insomnia, and his decision to seek help set an example for others with mental health issues.


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The Canadians used their speed to produce the icebreaker. Brett Kulak sent Josh Anderson into the clearing and found Drouin at the end of a 2v1 run.

Alexander Romanov was preparing to step back on the ice after serving a sentence for interference when Pierre Engvall tied the game with a power goal at 10:13. Engvall made a heady move as he faked a shot and took a step to his left to elude Ben Chiarot.

The Leafs won the special teams battle tonight. They were 1 of 3 with the extra man, while Montreal’s renewed power play was 0 of 4 with six shots on goal.

The Ontario government gave the Maple Leafs the green light for a full house, but there were seats available at the box office until game time and the attendance was below the 18,493 capacity.


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Allen had some luck on his side when Rasmus Sandin hit a crossbar in the last minute of the first period and Engvall hit a post early in the second.

The Canadiens return to action Thursday when they face the Buffalo Sabers at KeyBank Arena. (7 pm, TSN2, RDS, TSN-690 Radio, 98.5 FM). The Canadiens play their first home game on Saturday against the New York Rangers.

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