Several Canadian players are experiencing slumps, but none seem to have been hit with bad luck as much as Josh Anderson.
Montreal forward Jacob Markstrom had a late steal and the Calgary Flames left the Bell Center with a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night.
Markstrom finished the night with a career-high 34 saves. It significantly extended the droughts of Anderson and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, who have yet to score this season.
“I had moments like that,” head coach Martin St-Louis recalled. I have conversations with them. I try to keep things a little lighter to cheer them up. The effort is there, the chances are there. Sometimes it’s a tough sport. »
The Habs have not scored more than two goals in regular time in their last four meetings (2-2-0).
“This kind of streak is going to happen throughout the season,” captain Nick Suzuki insisted. We are getting chances and we have several players who can score. The puck will go in eventually. When Anderson scores or others score, he will regain his confidence and be able to take advantage of his opportunities more often. »
The only goal for the Canadian was scored by Gustav Lindström (7-7-2). Samuel Montembeault stopped 27 shots.
Connor Zary had a goal and an assist, while Nazem Kadri (5-8-2) scored the second goal for the Fire.
“I think we deserved better,” St-Louis said. The effort was there. There was an obligation. It is so. »
Lindström was inserted into the Canadian lineup in relief of Jordan Harris. The latter suffered an upper-body injury on Saturday against the Boston Bruins.
For his part, striker Jesse Ylönen took over from Michael Pezzetto.
The Canadian will play his next game on Thursday, when the Vegas Golden Knights visit the Bell Center.
The biggest opportunists prevail
The spectacle was entertaining in the first 10 minutes of the game, with both teams sending 15 shots on goal.
Cole Caufield hit Markstrom on the mask with a high shot from close range, while Brendan Gallagher narrowly missed the rebound into an open net.
The Flames opened the scoring 2:35 into the second period. Kadri mocked Christian Dvorak’s coverage, then surprised Montembeault with a shot after turning.
The Canadian responded 17 seconds later. Throwing in behind the net, Dvorak joined Lindström, who took one shot. The puck bounced off defender Rasmus Andersson before crossing the goal line.
Markstrom appeared moments later, frustrating Jake Evans in a two-on-one while the Canadian was shorthanded. He got lucky a little later, when Josh Anderson hit the crossbar.
Zary gave the Flames the lead again 6:53 into the second period. He completed a nice exchange started by Andersson and Martin Pospisil.
Andrew Mangiapane briefly gave the Flames a two-goal lead at 4:10 of the third period. However, coach Martin St-Louis was challenged, as replays showed that he was offside earlier in the series. The goal was therefore disallowed.
Mike Matheson surprised Markstrom with a long shot midway through the third quarter, but it hit the post.
The Canadian then gained a numerical advantage, but it was the Vatreni who knocked on the door during a two-way descent towards the goalkeeper. Blake Coleman, however, missed the target after a pass from Elias Lindholm.
Markstrom put an exclamation point on his performance by stealing a goal from Anderson with his glove with 68 seconds left.