The Montreal Canadiens were facing the prospect of having lost eight of their last 11 games. With Vancouver starting to nip at their heels a bit, a loss would have been further cut into their playoff cushion.
Montreal was able to survive a crazy third period where four goals were scored in all. That included a plethora of scoring chances where Jake Allen was able to stay just tall enough. In the end, two Josh Anderson goals were enough as the Canadiens held off the Oilers by a score of 4-3.
|19:31||MTL||Artturi Lehkonen (4)||Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Jeff Petry|
|03:09||EDM||Connor McDavid (25)||Caleb Jones|
|03:20||MTL||Josh Anderson (16)||Tomas Tatar, Jeff Petry|
|08:10||MTL||PP||Tyler Toffoli (22)|
|15:03||MTL||Josh Anderson (17)||Tomas Tatar, Alexander Romanov|
|17:48||EDM||PP||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (13)||Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl|
|18:49||EDM||Jesse Puljujarvi (12)||Connor McDavid, Tyson Barrie|
Montreal Canadiens lucky to have Jake Allen
In what has been the weirdest of weird seasons, Montreal stands at five games over .500. With 12 games left to play, Montreal hopes to have Carey Price back soon enough. The nice part is that they have a veteran like Jake Allen. What Allen has brought to the table is a steady influence. He has allowed three or fewer goals in every one of his previous five starts.
That has kept Montreal in games at least. The Canadiens do not typically allow a ton of shots or quality scoring chances. So, sometimes it gets difficult for a goalie to develop a rhythm. It did not help the other night when Carey Price suffered what has now been called a concussion. Price is out at least another week or so which means it will be Allen’s crease for several more games at a minimum.
Jake Allen est le suivant au micro.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) April 22, 2021
Allen’s calmness is what often strikes me the most. While the goalie and Montreal did give up two late goals, this time Montreal calmed down. They were able to close out the game and most importantly win. Winning now is king. Every two points get Montreal closer to clinching a playoff spot.
Also, according to Natural Stats Trick, Allen faced four high-danger chances in the second period and stopped three of them. There were a few times in the third period where the goalie was able to handle the puck and keep potential Edmonton chances at bay. Again, nothing came easy with this game. Edmonton pulled their goaltender and scored twice. They nearly tied the game on a couple of occasions. But again, Allen and Montreal held firm when it counted.
Allen even joked a bit about Connor McDavid. He did stop him a couple of more times on Wednesday night than expected including a second-period chance that appeared to be a goal. Yet, it was not and thankfully it was not.
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Josh Anderson helps seal Montreal Canadiens win
Again, these are the games that Montreal needs to win more consistently. It is what it is and fortunately, the Canadiens got the two points. Josh Anderson scored twice as Tomas Tatar picked up secondary assists while defensemen Jeff Petry and Alexander Romanov set Anderson up.
The second goal put Montreal up 4-1 and proved to be the game-winning goal.
From @djpoulin20 & @GlennSchiiler: Another productive night for Marc Bergevin’s off-season acquisitions and how Josh Anderson was ‘a force' in the Habs' win over the Oilers – https://t.co/4LM9cOMKJj#TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/hd0ajOkEoC
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) April 22, 2021
That brings Anderson up to 17 goals on the season. He would be a likely 30-goal scorer on this Montreal team over the course of an 82 game schedule. The bottom line with Anderson is he hits and scraps out there for his opportunities. The winger may not always execute but he never quits trying. Sometimes that almost or does cross a line but he did not get caught.
Mike Smith will probably want to disagree on the one goal but sometimes, those are the breaks sadly. For last night, Montreal got a break and a much-needed two points.
The assertion as Josh Anderson put it now is this. “We have to play like this every game”.
He is 100% right. No more two steps back and more steps forward. It is the only way. Players like Jake Allen and Josh Anderson show the way along with Corey Perry and Tyler Toffoli. Now, the rest have to follow. They did it Wednesday night and now Montreal has to keep doing it.