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Game 17: Canadiens vs Kings AKA Making Quick Work of the Kings

November 10, 2019, 9:33 AM ET [1 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Claude Julien had told the media that he felt his team had been flat for the last 3 games and that's why he threw his lines in a blender and came up with new combinations. The players knew they had to be better and they came out looking like they had heard their coach's message loud and clear. Usually, Jonathan Quick does well in Montreal, he had won his last two games at the Bell Centre by a shutout and had a goalless streak of 120:23 going but it didn't last for more than 10 minutes last night. The Habs scored their first goal on a power play thanks to Shea Weber who saw his first shot blocked by the Kings defenceman before it bounced back to him and he just slammed it again to beat Quick. That was Weber's 100th career power play goal.

15 seconds later, Nate Thompson doubled the Canadiens' lead and the Kings looked somewhat stunned. Tomas Tatar got an assist on Thompson's first of the season and that was Tatar's 300th career point.

The Kings looked stunned after those 15 seconds and really didn't put up much of a fight for the rest of the period. When Victor Mete was tripped, it took 6 seconds for the Montreal power play to strike again through Shea Weber and at the buzzer, the Habs lead 3-0 and had 17 shots to the Kings' 11. The Canadiens were also perfect on the power play and had won 60% of the draws. At that stage, it looked like Montreal would have a walk in the park and easily take the 2 points.

Los Angeles was given some life by a Jeff Petry tripping call though and Anze Kopitar managed to send a one timer from the slot past Carey Price to make it 3-1. No one else got on the score board during the second frame even though the Kings got themselves 2 more penalties including a 4 minute double minor for high sticking. It would have been a perfect Hollywood story had the captain scored a 3rd goal but it wasn't to be. The 3rd period was quite similar to the second with the Kings doing their best to get back into the contest and creeping back within just one goal through a Blake Lizotte goal at the 13 minutes mark. The minutes seemed to wind down insanely slowly from then on and it was high time the final buzzer rang when it did as it didn't look like they Habs could sustain the pressure for much longer.

In the end, the Canadiens got the win thanks to a dominant first period and another great performance from Carey Price who saved 31 of the 33 shots he faced for a .939 save percentage. It's also worth noting that the Canadiens were tied first in the league for goals from the blue line with 13 after last night's game, a surprising stat if there ever was one. While the defensive coverage is still hard to watch at times, it's impossible to deny that the defence corps is doing more than its share offensively, something not many saw coming. The downside of last night's game though is the fact that the Habs seemed to lack the killer instinct. They played so well in the first and then kind of looked like they thought: "ok, we've done enough" and took their feet off the gas pedal. Against an ailing Kings team, this is not fatal but if they do that against a good team, they will pay the price.

In the good news department, the Laval Rocket has won its last 5 games and Cayden Primeau it the main reason why. The heir apparent to Carey Price is having himself quite the start to his professional career and has got some stellar numbers:

It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the youngster to become Carey Price's back-up. It most certainly will not be this season as he's only 20 years old and dominating the AHL will do wonders for his confidence but he doesn't look like a guy who'll be in the minors for years. Furthermore, Keith Kinkaid is under contract with the Habs for this season only and that could open up the way to Primeau as early as next season. The thing is though, could Primeau play second fiddle to Price for the next 6 years? That's how many seasons Price is signed for...

The Habs will be back on the ice on Tuesday night when they'll host the Blue Jackets at the Bell Centre before making their way to Washington to take on the Caps Friday night and wrapping up the week against the Devils in Montreal on Saturday.
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