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In Hainsight: Habs Are not Off the Hook with Injuries

February 10, 2024, 11:32 PM ET [227 Comments]
Karine Hains
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With Alex Newhook’s return to the line-up, it seemed the Canadiens were finally off the hook with injuries aside from Kirby Dach’s lost season, but they didn’t even make it one game before losing someone else. Montreal played a good enough first frame and it was nice to see the first power play unit connect just as well as it did when Sean Monahan was in the bumper position, Newhook fit right in. Even though the man-advantage unit didn’t score, it showed some tremendous passing, and it definitely looks like the Canadiens finally have a working power play, or at least one working power play unit.

38 seconds into the second frame, Nick Suzuki scored the first goal of the game after Cole Caufield sent him a perfect pass as he had managed to get behind Dallas’ defense. The captain made no mistake and scored with a precise shot. The Bell Centre got on its feet to celebrate, but the joy was short lived. Minutes later, Joel Armia inexplicably turned on himself and collided with Harvey-Pinard who literally hit a wall in Armia’s back. It almost looked as bad as when Subban lined-up Marchand for a huge back check.The 25-year-old was visibly badly hurt as he took some time to collect himself and crawl to the bench. Taking advantage of the confusion with two Canadiens having taken themselves out of the play, Thomas Harley scored Dallas’ first goal to tie things up while Harvey-Pinard needed some assistance to retreat to the locker-room. The Canadiens announced shortly thereafter he wouldn’t be back in the game and judging by what the hit and fall looked like, I wouldn’t expect a speedy recovery. Armia wasn't done though, in the third, he somehow also ended up checking Tanner Pearson...

25 seconds after they had equalized, Dallas got a go-ahead goal through Tyler Seguin, and they went on to sign a 3-2 win. In the second period alone, the Stars took 21 shots on Samuel Montembeault’s net and even though he multiplied the spectacular saves, he could do nothing on Seguin’s second goal of the game which gave Dallas a 3-1 win. The Habs struggled mightily to get pucks on net, taking six shots in the first, and seven in both the second and third periods. Still, they managed to get back within one goal when Slafkovsky scored his tenth of the season on what looked like a tight angle. The young Slovak has been working overtime on his shots lately in Brossard and it’s starting to show.

Neither team managed to find the back of the net in the third and the Stars won their fifth game in a row at the Bell Centre. If you want to see the glass half full here, the first line continued to show great chemistry, Suzuki extended is point streak to six consecutive games while Caufield extended his to 11 and, the team still lost, meaning it didn’t hinder its chances for the lottery draft. Even better yet, Samuel Montembeault was fantastic making 35 saves with a .921 save percentage.

The Canadiens won’t have much time to lick their wounds as they are taking on St-Louis tomorrow at 1 PM. With Gallagher still having two games to serve on his five-game suspension, Montreal had to call up someone quickly, meaning that Joshua Roy was taken out of the Rocket’s line-up as they were about to face the Marlies this afternoon. Roy has already played six games with the Canadiens this season, getting a goal and an assist while skating on a line completed by Sean Monahan and Joel Armia. In net, Jake Allen will be taking over from Samuel Montembeault, meaning Cayden Primeau will have to wait for his turn once again. The young goaltender has only played 11 games so far this season. All good things come to those who wait as they say…

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