Well, the Montreal Canadiens started their Western Canadian road trip the same way that their last road trip this season ended – with a loss.
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The Canadiens were shut out 3-0 by the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Monday night in an effort where scoring chances were available but everything seemed… a little off. Hockey isn’t talked about much as a game of inches, but for the Canadiens they loomed large.
Zone entry and zone exit passes were missing sticks. Loose pucks were bouncing over sticks and bounces just seemed to go Edmonton’s way all night.
The Canadiens seemed to open the scoring in the first period when Max Pacioretty fired a wrist shot past Ben Scrivens. However, Brendan Gallagher was pushed into Scrivens and the goal was disallowed for incidental contact.
It didn’t seem like it would be a big deal as the game had plenty of scoring chances due to penalties being called… let’s just say tight.
However, it didn’t work out that way for the Canadiens. A two-on-one for the Oilers turned into a Benoit Pouliot goal. Later in the second period, a bounce went the Oilers way as Nail Yakupov scored off a rebound off the back boards. Taylor Hall finished the game with an empty net goal.
Then the Oilers, not known for their defensive play, shut the Canadiens down. The Canadiens couldn’t muster many scoring chances, and when they did Ben Scrivens closed the door.
The Canadiens looked frustrated as things just weren’t going their way. Alex Galchenyuk was probably the best Canadiens player on the night but even he couldn’t finish his chances, most of which were created by himself.
Dustin Tokarski played well, and deserved better, but the Canadiens just couldn’t get him a goal they needed. You got the feeling that if they got one, they would have had a chance to come back but they couldn’t beat Scrivens after Pacioretty’s goal was disallowed.
Tonight the Canadiens look to rebound. Expect to see some lineup changes as Jarred Tinordi will likely play in place of Nathan Beaulieu and Carey Price will be in goal. Whether any forwards change is still up in the air.