Canadiens lose to Canucks, another blow to first win streak of season

Vancouver 2, Montreal 1. Jake Allen found no offensive support.

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The Canadiens missed another chance for that elusive two-game winning streak as they defeated the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 at Bell Center on Monday.

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Jake Allen, who made 47 saves to defeat the Penguins on Saturday in Pittsburgh, gave the Canadiens a chance, but as has been the case after the Canadiens’ last five wins this season, there was no offensive support. Head coach Dominic Ducharme has warned about the bad things that can happen when you catch the puck the wrong way, and the second period was a perfect example as the Canucks went 2-1 on a goal by Connor Garland. Took the lead.

Josh Anderson chased a puck along the end boards and threw a blind pass behind him. It went straight to Bo Horvat, who relayed the puck to Garland, who was alone in front of Jake Allen.

The Canadiens were lucky to come out of the second round, trailing by only one goal. They were 22-11 ahead and were no longer a threat until the final three minutes when Thatcher Demko had to make two stops on Jonathan Drouin.

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The Canadiens got off to a slow start and were leading 11-1 when Nick Suzuki was called in for tripping at 7:48. The Canucks wasted no time taking advantage of the Montreal penalty killers, who are 29th in the league. Horvat won the faceoff against Jake Evans and Quinn Hughes set up Elias Petersson for a one-timer from the right faceoff circle at 8:00.

The goal served as a wake-up call for the Canadiens, and Peterson’s goal represented the final shot of Vancouver’s period. The Canadiens took the next nine shots and were rewarded when Ryan Poehling went over the net to redirect a pass from Drouin to tie the game with 1:21 remaining.

The Canadiens’ PK came into play with a 68.6 percent success rate and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. The Canucks went 1-for-2 with the extra man and the opposition scored six power-play goals on 11 occasions in the last six games. This is a success rate of only 45 percent for PK. Montreal’s power play went 0-for-2 with three shots on target.

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The Canadiens took to the snow for the first time since owner Geoff Molson cleaned the house in the front office, firing general manager Mark Bergevin and assistant GM Trevor Timmins as well as public relations flack Paul Wilson. The Canadiens also lost assistant GM Scott Melanby, who resigned after learning he was not in line for an expanded role.

Ducharme said the management reshuffle should not have a major impact on the players and added that the appointment of Executive Vice President Jeff Gorton will not affect the way they work.

“I will remain the same,” said Ducharme. “I didn’t play in the NHL so I worked my way up to coaching and taking on challenges and proving myself at every level, every day and every year, so I would do just that.”

The spectators included captain Shia Webber, who was sidelined for the season – and possibly beyond – with multiple injuries. He travels frequently from his home in Kelowna to consult the team doctors.

phickey@postmedia.com

twitter.com/zababes1

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