The Canadiens were lucky to come away with a point in the 3-2 shootout loss to the Flyers

A disappointing performance against former Martin St. Louis coach John Tortorella as the Habs were outshot 39-19 with Cayden Primeau in goal.

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When it comes to passionate coach John Tortorella, players either seem to love playing for him or hate him.

Martin St. Louis loved having Tortorella as his coach for seven years with the Tampa Bay Lightning. That relationship began in the 2000-01 season after St. Louis signed with the Lightning as a free agent following two unproductive seasons with the Calgary Flames, scoring four goals in 69 games. They won the Stanley Cup together in 2004 with the Lightning, when St. Louis also won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP and the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer.

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On Wednesday night, St. Louis and Tortorella faced off in Philadelphia. Tortorella prevailed as his Flyers beat the Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout.

Owen Tippett and Morgan Frost scored for the Flyers in regulation and Sean Couturier scored the only goal in the shootout.

Sean Monahan and David Savard scored for the Canadiens. Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield and Jesse Ylönen failed to score in the shootout and the Canadiens saw their record drop to 17-17-6. Only eight of their wins have come in regulation time and they have a 9-6 record in shootout and overtime games.

Cayden Primeau stole a point for the Canadiens, making 37 saves and his team was outshot 39-19, including 7-1 in overtime. Primeau’s record is now 4-4-1 with a 3.13 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.

The Canadiens were outshot 10-2 in the first period, but led 2-1. Monahan scored his 11th goal of the season on a deflection of a Justin Barron point shot at the 1:29 mark and Savard gave the Canadiens a 2-0 lead when he scored his fourth goal of the season on a shot. point at 11:28. Monahan is now tied for second on the Canadiens in goals with Caufield, one behind Nick Suzuki.

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Tippett scored at 15:41 of the first period and Frost tied the score at 8:30 of the second period.

Primeau got some help from his posts, starting 30 seconds into the game when Scott Laughton hit him high to the glove side with a backhand, but it hit the post. It was one of six posts the Flyers hit, including one on Travis Konecny’s shootout.

“I feel like it was personally my most sloppy game at the beginning of this year,” Primeau told reporters in Philadelphia after the game. “But I tried to fight back and give the guys a chance to win.

“My brain was focused from the beginning, but my feet were struggling a little bit,” Primeau added. “They caught me behind on a couple of plays. In the third period I felt good.”

When asked if he thanked his goalkeepers after the game, Primeau said: “Definitely. They hit a couple of posts, so he is the goalkeeper’s best friend.”

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St. Louis said the Canadiens didn’t have their “fastball” that night and didn’t play a good game.

That’s very true and it must have been very disappointing for St. Louis to face their former coach.

“I felt like I grew up in Tampa and Torts helped me, shaped me, I guess, and gave me opportunities,” St. Louis told reporters in Philadelphia after the morning skate. “But he also taught me a lot of things about what it takes to play in this league and how to be successful and work ethic. Outside of the game, he is a great human being and that is why I continue to lean on him to this day. He’s a guy I’m not afraid to pick up the phone and call. I have a lot of respect for how he does things, how he goes about his business. So I feel very fortunate that we crossed paths at a young time in my career when he needed a little help to get me going, so to speak, in terms of opportunities. I forced him to give it to me.

“To me, we had a good relationship with Torts,” St. Louis added. “It wasn’t always easy, but we communicated very well. Grievances pushed me to a higher place I didn’t think I could reach. …You knew where you stood regarding Torts. But he wasn’t afraid to have difficult conversations with the players and you were also allowed to speak your truth. So I really respect that.”

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This is Tortorella’s second season behind the Flyers’ bench. They finished seventh in the Metropolitan Division last season with a 31-38-13 record, but are in third place this season and in a playoff spot with a 21-14-6 record.

Tortorella told reporters in Philadelphia after the morning skate that St. Louis is one of the best competitors he has ever coached. He added that they are still very good friends and still talk a lot, exchanging training ideas. Tortorella also noted that as he gets older he finds it more difficult to coach against his friends, including Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan.

“When the game starts, it’s not Marty, for me it’s the Montreal Canadiens,” Tortorella said of coaching against St. Louis. “There is always competition; I think that’s why we’re in business. “You always want to beat the other team, not a particular person.”

But this victory must have been a little extra special for Tortorella.

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