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About Last Night: Lifeless Habs lose 7-2 in empty Bell Center

Evander Kane scored the game’s first goal in his debut for the Oilers. David Savard was a late scratch and will miss eight weeks with a right ankle injury.

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Goaltender Sam Montembeault allowed six goals on 16 shots before being pulled as the Canadiens were trounced 7-2 on home ice against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.

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In his debut for the Oilers after signing a one-year deal earlier in the week, Evander Kane scored the game’s first goal.

Although no fans were allowed to attend the game because of COVID-19 measures, sidelined netminder Carey Price was there.

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Price probably didn’t like what he saw, especially a second period hit by Zack Kassian on Montembeault that went unavenged until later in the game. Here’s the hit in question. Michael Pezzetta eventually fought Kassian in the third period.

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After an uneventful opening 10 minutes, Kane opened scoring at 11:21 on a deflection after being allowed to slip towars the net undetected.

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The Oilers would add two more in the next 107 seconds. Zach Hyman broke a minor slump with a redirect of his own. Defenseman David Savard missed his first game of the season with a lower-body injury, and perhaps his absence was felt on those two goals. After the game, the team announced Savard will miss eight weeks with a right ankle injury.

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Leon Draisaitl scored his 30th on the season to make it 3-0, with a little help from Rem Pitlick on the deflection.

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At 3:58 of the second, Josh Anderson put his team on the board. Jake Evans won his board battle, sent the puck to Ben Chiarot at the point, and Anderson was there to pot the rebound.

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A little over two minutes later, Edmonton regained their three-goal lead. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was left all alone in front, and he took his time to find a hole in Montembeault’s armour.

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Hyman kicked off a frenetic sequence at 14:30 of the period with his second of the night. He protected the puck coming out from behind the net, then spun and fired the puck past Montembeault. Oilers were up 5-1.

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Although the Habs didn’t immediately respond to Kassian’s hit on Montembeault, they did answer on the ensuing power play. Three seconds into the power play with Kassian in the box for roughing, Mike Hoffman set up Tyler Toffoli for a one-timer to make it 5-2.

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But 22 seconds after that, Draisaitl scored again to give the Oilers a commanding 6-2 lead. The puck bounced around Warren Foegele’s skates before he put the puck on the net, allowing Draisitl to swoop in for his 31st. Habs were leading in shots 20-16 after two periods, but down 6-2. Cayden Primeau replaced Montembeault to start the third, making it the eighth time the Habs have switched goalies in a game this season.

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It was bound to happen, and despite getting little ice-time during the game, Pezzetta took advantage of a rare shift against Kassian to retaliate for the earlier hit. It ended Pezzetta’s night with a misconduct and gave the Oilers a two-minute power play, but the Liveblog commenters were happy to see at least one Hab answer the call and defend their teammate.

Derek Ryan gave his team the 7-2 touchdown goal late in the third. It was the lone goal Primeau allowed on eight shots.

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Montreal’s nightmare season continues. They play one more game Sunday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, where Brendan Gallagher and Paul Byron are expected to return, before a bye week. A word that appeared in the Liveblog comments on Saturday more times than on previous nights? Quit. And they weren’t using the word lightly. The exception? Pezzetta, who commenter Michael Paul called “the heart and soul of the Habs.” As much an indictment of his teammates as it was a compliment towards the sparringly used rookie forward.

3. “Can’t win with this goaltending. People who talk about Carey and we can win without him etc. Shake your head. Nice to see Carey in press box. A true number one goalie and top 3 in nhl. You can see what crappy goaltending does to a teams play and confidence. Ask the oilers. Any how. Monty deep in his net all the time just like primeau. Wonder how much longer our goalie coach lasts too.” -Dale Riesling

2. “This fan is actually looking forward to the trading deadline. Not because we can pick up someone good, RATHER let’s hope this team can dump many of those players who have Quit! A quitting person has no room anywhere. Try bulking up on picks and start with the kids for the future. (at least they try) Then, the off season, find a Coach and assistants that have great experience in development and drafting players.” -Elliott Alderson

1. “They scored, but your goalie gets run and his helmet knocked off and NO response? WTH??” -Jimmy Brock

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