Forward lines and defense pairings
Tatar – Danault – Gallagher
Drouin – Domi – Lehkonen
Byron – Kotkaniemi – Armia
Deslauriers – Peca – Shaw
Alzner – Petry
Reilly – Juulsen
Ouellet – Benn
Mete (hand), Scherbak, Hudon
Weber, Schlemko, Plekanec
After the Canadiens dispatched the St. Louis Blues for their third win in a row, it was all sunshine and lollipops among the Habs fanbase.
But a closer look revealed that the Blues were the better team for the final 40 minutes. It was only the extraordinary work by Carey Price and a little magic with 9.7 seconds left that delivered the victory.
Against the Ottawa Senators, the Canadiens were the better team for the first 20 minutes once again taking a 3-1 lead to the dressing room. But then it was all Ottawa. Montreal had 15 shots on goal in the first period and just 12 for the remaining 42:30.
Spending more time in the Montreal zone only exposed a defence that was not upgraded over the summer by Marc Bergevin. Karl Alzner is the rearguard that Habs fans love to criticize but he had company tonight.
For all those doing backflips over the return of Nicolas Deslauriers, your celebration may be short-lived. Deslauriers was conspicuous by how ill-matched he is to the new style of play by this team.
Credit to Jesperi Kotkaniemi who not only picked up an assist in almost 15 minutes of icetime, the 18-year-old came to the aid of Carey Price when Colin White ran into the Habs goaltender.
▲ Carey Price, Paul Byron, Artturi Lehkonen, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Joel Armia, Noah Juulsen
▼ Jonathan Drouin, Tomas Tatar, Nicolas Deslauriers, Matthew Peca, Andrew Shaw, Karl Alzner, Xavier Ouellet, Mike Reilly