About last night: Habs can’t put two wins together with the Kings’ loss

Former Hab Phil Danault posted an assist in his first game as King against his former club.

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There aren’t many teams in the NHL with fewer wins than the Montreal Canadiens this season, and before Saturday’s matinee, the Los Angeles Kings were one of them. All of that changed when the Kings defeated the Habs 5-2 at Staples Center, giving both of them two in the win column. In his first game against his former club, former Hab Phillip Danault recorded an assist. The Kings scored three power play goals on the night.

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It was also the first time that Tyler Toffoli returned to Los Angeles since leaving the Kings for the 2019-2020 season. The 2014 Cup winner received a warm welcome from the home crowd.

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In fact, things started well for Montreal. Near the end of the first period, Josh Anderson scored his second goal in as many games, receiving a pass from Christian Dvorak that floated over two Kings, one of them Danault. Anderson’s shot beat Cal Petersen to give the Habs a 1-0 lead heading into the second period.

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The wheels fell off the bus almost immediately in the second. Sharp shooter Viktor Arvidsson, acquired from the Predators in the offseason, had time and space on the right side to place a precise shot under Jake Allen’s blocker to tie the game at 4:31.

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Then the Habs got into trouble with penalties. With Anderson in the box for a slight cut on Kings captain Anze Kopitar, rookie Arthur Kaliyev demonstrated his shooting prowess by entering a quick move that passed over Allen to give the Kings their first lead with 2-1. The Kings edged the Habs 15-10 in the second.

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In the third, the Kings scored less than two minutes with Dvorak in the box to make it 3-1. Another young man from the Los Angeles roster of formidable prospects, Rasmus Kupari, impressed with a sniper from the top of the circle. It was his second power play goal of the night.

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Less than four minutes later, the Habs gave up a fourth goal. After Allen made the opening save, an undisputed Alex Iafallo jumped on the rebound that followed with no Habs around him to give the Kings a 4-1 lead.

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Iafallo would score again in the third, this time with Mathieu Perreault in the penalty area. Danault sent Iafallo striped completely alone with a blue line signal. Iafallo waited for Allen to go down and extended his reach beyond the goalkeeper’s outstretched leg to give the Kings a 5-1 lead.

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A pinch from Ben Chiarot gave Canadiens fans something to cheer on with a late goal. The game ended 5-2.

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The Habs have won just twice in October, and both times they allowed five goals in the next game. In five of nine games so far this season, the Canadiens have given up four or more goals. They are warehouse dwellers in the Atlantic Division and have the worst goal differential in the Eastern Conference at -13. Only the Arizona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks are breaking their fall to the bottom. After the defeat, a team meeting was held before speaking to the media. Will Halloween Sunday’s tilt against the Anaheim Ducks make them California Dreaming or California Screaming?

Liveblog commenters were upset, and rightly so. They wonder why the Habs seem to connect in so few passes, why they failed after a decent first period, and why they shut down so often. All good questions.

3. “HUMILIATING !!” -James Martin

2. “Kings are pretty lousy…. however, he dominated the Habs for most of the game. “-Dale G

1. “I thought the game started at 7. I’m glad I lost it, obviously.” -Jon Robb

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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