About last night: Habs lose 2-0, Fleury joins 500-win club

Marc-André Fleury joined the 500-win club with a 2-0 shutout win over the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Center on Thursday.

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Marc-André Fleury joined the exclusive company with a 2-0 shutout victory for his Chicago Blackhawks over the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Center on Thursday. Just down the street from his hometown of Sorel-Tracy, Fleury won the 500th game of his career. Only Québec netminders Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur have reached the mark.

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Thursday’s tilt brought together two of the NHL’s worst offenses, and it showed. The 28th best offense in the league was blocked, while the 30th best scored two goals.

Forward Jesse Ylönen made his season debut for Montreal, replacing the injured Christian Dvorak. Several regulars were left out, including Carey Price, Shea Weber, Joel Edmundson, Paul Byron, Brendan Gallagher, Josh Anderson, Jeff Petry and Sami Niku.

There were no goals in the first, but ex-Hab and Hawk Andrew Shaw was at the Bell Center.

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In the first, Jake Allen nearly coughed up the first goal of the game, losing the puck behind the net directly to Patrick Kane. Allen rushed back just in time to get a piece of Kane’s backhand.

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Early in the second, Ryan Poehling had a tight and fast backdoor scoring opportunity on Fleury. Artturi Lehkonen hit him with a cross pass, but Poehling pushed the puck wide. The Hawks almost got a shot on their own at a delayed penalty when Alex Debrincat had an open cage, but Allen crossed to get the blocker to save.

The Habs killed the first penalty of the period, but with Kale Clague in the area, at 1:48 p.m. Hawks captain Jonathan Toews scored his first goal of the season, and his first since March 2020. Kane had space on the right side before finding one hiding Seth Jones at the top of the slot. Jones passed Toews to the side of the net, who hit him home for the power play marker. A great moment for Toews, who missed all of last season with illness.

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In the third, Cole Caufield jumped in his stride, but seemed unable to make a clean shot on goal. At 12pm on the third, the Hawks scored a sure goal when Alexander Romanov sent a reckless backhand pass to Henrik Borgstrom in front of the net. Borgstrom turned and fired at Allen, who was not expecting it. The Hawks were up 2-0.

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Even with Allen on the bench, the Habs couldn’t mount any offense. Fleury posted his 500th win and 69th shutout of his career, and the Bell Center crowd chanted the visiting goalkeeper’s name. It is a remarkable milestone for a goalkeeper to reach, and it must have been special for him to reach the plateau in his home province.

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Fleury’s victory brought little comfort to Liveblog commenters, who saw the exhausted Habs left out at home. Aside from the heartwarming moments for Toews and Fleury, this was a terribly boring hockey game. Commentators were asked if they would trade Allen, considering where the Habs are this season and what their potential value could be. He leaned more for the no than for the yes.

3. “The first Habs game my dad took me to was against the Hawks. I think I was about 6 years old and we were sitting at the top of the old Forum walkway. I remember fans booing John Ferguson because he tried to hit Bobby Hull, who had a broken jaw and was wearing a cage. “-Bob Taylor

2. “Chiarot could be the Habs’ best offensive player. Make it what you want. “-Dale Geldautomat

1. “We have the MOST CLASSIC fans in the entire League!” -Carin Latzel

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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