Canadian wins his first pre-season game
Jake Evans was shorthanded with 2:38 remaining in the third period and the Montreal Canadiens began their playoff schedule by defeating the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Monday.
Evans stole the disc from Damon Severson at the blue line of the Habs and escaped. He beat goalkeeper Evan Cormier with a shot from the side of the mitten, breaking a 2-2 tie.
Artturi Lehkonen, Nate Thompson and Nick Cousins also hit the target for the Canadiens. Carey Price stopped eight of nine shots in 30:08, and Cayden Primeau was beaten just once on 17 shots.
Will Butcher and Michael McLeod hit the road for the Devils. Mackenzie Blackwood lost twice to 13 shots in the first two games. Cormier repelled 11 shots.
Lehkonen gets the opportunity since the beginning of the camp to play in an offensive role with Jonathan Drouin and Max Domi. He was credited with the first goal of the game after 2:29 of play, when a Shea Weber shot hit him before crossing the goal line.
Thompson doubled the home lead at 8:14 of the first period, enjoying a comeback after a fine attack orchestrated by Cale Fleury and Cousins.
Butcher narrowed the gap with 1:35 to go in the first quarter, towards the end of a power play. He beat Price with a sharp, sharp wrist shot on the side of the shield.
Primeau is distinguished
Primeau distinguished himself shortly after entering the match midway in the second period. He went there a move to his left to frustrate Blake Coleman. This stop earned Primeau an ovation from the crowd, who also chanted his name.
Quebecer Brandon Gignac believed for a few seconds to have created the tie before the end of the second period. The referees, however, refused the goal as they found that Nathan Bastian had harmed Primeau’s work.
The Devils took advantage of a bit of luck to finally set the deadlock after 1:55 of play in the third period. The puck made an unexpected leap against the band in the Canadiens territory to return to the front of the net. Since Primeau had compromised, McLeod was able to shoot in an abandoned cage.
Primeau bought a little later, making a nice stop against Kyle Palmieri, who was forgotten behind the Montreal defense.
Evans then relaunched the Canadian before seeing Cousins complete the mark in an empty net with 53.8 seconds left.
The Canadiens will play their next preseason game on Wednesday in Bathurst, New Brunswick, as part of the Kraft Hockeyville game. The Florida Panthers will be the opponents of the Habs.