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A hard-fought victory for the Canadiens over the Sharks

Games in San Jose are usually flat. And today’s was no exception.

The Canadiens were trying to win a second straight game, after beating the Ducks in Anaheim on Wednesday night.

Let’s take a look around to see what happened in the game, but first, here’s the formation employed by the Habs:

For the Sharks, it’s interesting to note that Marc-Édouard Vlasic was left out of the lineup by his coach.

The first period was decent for the Canadiens, but nothing more.

Cole Caufield had two good chances to score, but was unable to put the puck in the net.

The story of the first period was Cayden Primeau. The young goaltender was solid and stood up at the right time as the Sharks fumbled in Canadiens territory on the power play:

The first period came to an end and both clubs returned to the locker room with the score at 0-0.

The second period was a little more exciting… But it was definitely in the Sharks’ favor.

Good old Mike Hoffman scored against his former club with a beautiful shot into the top corner. The former Canadian celebrated his birthday in the best possible way:

And with just over seven minutes to play in the second, young William Eklund joined the party to double the Sharks’ lead.

And he did it brilliantly. He used his shot on landing to unleash a powerful throw, right where Mom hides the cookies:

Jayden Struble was playing his second career NHL game and he did it again. He really looks like an “NHLer”, since his recall…

The defenseman picked up his first point of the show, when he assisted on Johnathan Kovacevic’s first goal of the game.

Kovy saw the Sharks’ first two goals and said to himself, I too can send the puck into the net! :

After two periods, the score was 2-1 in favor of the Sharks. I know, it wasn’t the start the Habs had hoped for, facing a club that’s been on a tear since the start of the season… But Martin St-Louis’ men rallied in the third period.

But how?

By scoring quickly with a fine shot from… Cole Caufield!

I don’t know if it was the theme this afternoon in San Jose, but all four goals were scored with a shot into the top of the net:

A great goal for Caufield, who hadn’t scored in his last six games.

It’ll give him some breathing space. On the sequence, Juraj Slafkovsky picked up an assist. That makes four points in his last five games.

Cayden Primeau also picked up an assist on the #22 goal. This is his first career NHL point.

The end of the third period was uneventful, but the intensity of the game went up a notch.

The Sharks were dangerous in the Habs’ zone, but failed to score.

Overtime was necessary, and the best chance fell to Cole Caufield, who broke away early in the period.

Mackenzie Blackwood made a fine save, however:

The shootout was exciting: goals were scored, saves were made…

But in the end, it was Jesse Ylönen who gave the CH the win:

The Habs were outshot 33-24 in the shootout and still managed, with great difficulty, to escape with the W.

Overall, the club should have responded better against a team like the San Jose Sharks.


Tonight, the club heads to Los Angeles. Tomorrow, Martin St-Louis’s men will face the mighty Los Angeles Kings, in a game that will again be presented in the afternoon.

Joel Armia will join the team tonight in LA, after being recalled by the Canadiens earlier today.

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