Midway through overtime, Kaiden Guhle stepped up and pounced on a loose puck at the top of the slot to end the game and give the Canadiens their second straight victory.
Montreal thus ended a series of ten consecutive defeats against the Bruins. The Habs haven’t had a top contender since November 5, 2019.
Here is a summary of the match in a few observations.
Another false start
Just like the last time when they were in front of their fans, the Canadians allowed the opponent to score the first goal of the game even before the first minute of the game. Back in the Bruins lineup after serving a four-game suspension, defenseman Charlie McAvoy sent from the blue line a disk that Pavel Zacha brilliantly diverted behind Samuel Montembeault.
Zach, who replaced Patrice Bergeron at center Brad Marchand AND David Pastrnak since the retirement of the Quebec player, he scored his fifth goal since the start of the season. This trio was extremely threatening almost the whole game. Marchand’s forecheck in particular put the members of the CH defense brigade under a lot of pressure and they multiplied mistakes because they always had to rush their actions.
Fifth goal for Gallagher
Not too long ago, many people would have embraced the pairing of Réjean Houle and Ralph Backstrom to get rid of the services of Brendan Gallagher, who struggled to keep up during profanity-laced team meetings at the start of training camp.
But then Gallagher eventually recovered and thanks to a last-ditch effort around the net, he gave his team victory by scoring his fifth goal of the season. The trio of veterans consisting of Gallagher, Sean Monahan and Tanner Pearson were the ones who felt the most in even strength among the Canadiens throughout the match.
“It’s hard to play in this league when you’re not 100 percent physically,” head coach Martin St-Louis recalled at the end of the game. I’m happy for his success, but everything he brings to this team is not seen in the scorers list. »
In the center of attention Guhla
Even if he doesn’t have the flash of Nick Suzuki or Cole Caufield, Kaiden Guhle is already considered one of the pillars of the team. Unsurprisingly, the spotlight was on the 21-year-old defenseman as his first goal of the season came at 2:13 of overtime to give the Canadians their second straight win.
True to form, he excelled defensively by blocking five shots – tied for high CH with Mike Matheson. Mainly unlike the trio of Marchand, Zach and Pastrnak, Guhle was not on the ice when they scored at the beginning of the game. “He brings stability, consistency, he’s a complete hockey player,” St-Louis said.
The guardian waltz continues
Ménage à trois required, Samuel Montembeault made his first start since giving up 5 goals on 34 shots to the Saint Louis Blues last Saturday night. The Quebec native was very, very good making 26 saves, half of which came in the third period, on 28 shots.
Montembeault has absolutely nothing to complain about on the goals of Zach (rejected shot) and Marchand (redirected with his skate on the power play). He was definitely at his best when he stopped all three Bruins shots during a double penalty in the third.
Special teams again
There are obviously a lot of ongoing projects in CH, but one of the elements where progress is most sensitive is without a doubt the numerical superiority game. In the 2022-23 season, the team finished 29th with a success rate of 13.7 percent.
Tonight, the Habs scored with a man advantage for the fifth straight game when Nick Suzuki fooled Jeremy Swayman with a pinpoint shot from the point. This is already the third time that the captain has scored in such an opportunity.