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Canada defeated after 12 rounds of shootouts
Tonight, the Canadiens were at the Bell Centre, hosting good old Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

For the occasion, Samuel Montembeault was the team’s starting goaltender. Here is Martin St-Louis’ complete line-up:

And for the Penguins, unsurprisingly, Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were at the center of the first two trios.

Here’s the club’s lineup, with Alex Nedeljkovic in front of the net:

I don’t know what got into the Canadiens in the first period, but they were clearly hungry. Quickly, David Savard took advantage of an Erik Karlsson turnaround pass to unleash a good shot.

His first goal of the season opened the scoring.

And a few minutes later, it was another of the team’s defensemen, Jayden Struble, who put on a show. After breaking into the offensive zone, he completed the sequence by doubling the Tricolore’s lead.

He’s really coming into his own, and impressing a little more every game.

On the other hand, it wouldn’t be a Habs game against the Penguins without a Sidney Crosby goal.

The latter completely put Kaiden Guhle to sleep in front of his net… before closing the gap.

But in the first, the Habs were truly the better team, and rightly so, regaining their two-goal lead shortly after Crosby scored.

It was on the power play that Sean Monahan found the back of the net.

After 20 minutes, the score was 3-1 in favor of the Habs.

In the second, however, the Tricolore’s indiscipline cost them dearly. First, a penalty for having too many players on the ice allowed Jake Guentzel to score.

What a shot.

Then, a penalty to Juraj Slafkovský for hooking allowed Sidney Crosby to score his second of the game.

Crosby’s third point of the game.

After 40 minutes, the two teams were tied. The score was 3-3.

In the third, Cole Caufield had a good chance to score, but Alex Nedeljkovic remained solid. At least, it gave the Tricolore a numerical advantage… but they couldn’t take advantage of it.

Josh Anderson then had some good scoring chances, but true to his (bad) habits this season, he failed to convert.

I’m really starting to feel sorry for him.

After 60 minutes, the score was still 3-3. So overtime was needed, an 11th for the Habs this season (in 29 games).

In overtime, the Tricolore was unable to take advantage of a power play. They got some good chances, but Alex Nedeljkovic remained solid in front of the net.

The result was a shootout, and get ready, because we got our money’s worth.

Nick Suzuki and Kris Letang both scored in the first round.

Cole Caufield and Sidney Crosby did the same in the second round.

Jesse Ylönen and Jake Guentzel were unable to score in the third round.

Juraj Slafkovský and Evgeni Malkin were also frustrated in the fourth round.

Joel Armia and Reilly Smith also failed to score in the fifth round.

Christian Dvorak (who collided with Alex Nedeljkovic) and Erik Karlsson were also frustrated in the sixth round.

Sean Monahan and Lars Eller both scored in the seventh round. It was getting to be interminable.

Mike Matheson and Jeff Carter did not score in the eighth round.

Michael Pezzetta and Valtteri Puustinen did not score in the ninth round.

Jake Evans and Radim Zohorna failed to find the back of the net in the tenth round.

Brendan Gallagher (yes, yes) and Vinnie Hinostroza were frustrated in the eleventh round.

Josh Anderson was unable to score, and Jansen Harkins finally put an end to the game in the twelfth round.

Final score: 4-3 Pittsburgh (TDB)

The Canadiens return to action on Saturday night, when the Islanders visit the Bell Centre. Montreal fans will have a chance to see Alexander Romanov in action.


– After 29 games this season, the Habs have won only three games by more than one goal, and they’ve never won a game by three goals or more. Maybe one day the Habs will put together a dominant performance, but after more than a third of the season, it’s still a long way off

– Erik Karlsson had a very tough start to the game. He picked himself up (although it wasn’t all rosy afterwards either), but it wasn’t particularly glorious in the opening minutes.

– For the past month, the Penguins’ power play had been completely out of action. Last night, it broke loose, and tonight, the Habs made sure not to let it slow them down. Indiscipline hurts, but so does poor shorthanded performance.

– The Vanier Cup champion Université de Montréal football team was honoured at the Bell Centre tonight.

– Jayden Struble is a hell of a hockey player. I don’t know if he’ll hit his wall anytime soon, but as long as he’s playing like this, he can’t get out of the lineup.

– Impressive.

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