the Leafs reveal the weakness of Montreal’s goals – fr

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the Leafs reveal the weakness of Montreal’s goals – fr


The Canadiens have scored just three goals in their first two playoff games and none of them have been scored by the first six forwards.

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Opening a playoff series with a road win is usually cause for optimism, but there was little reason the Canadiens feel good about their performance in Toronto after losing a 5-1 decision to the Maple Leafs. Saturday at the Scotiabank Arena.

The best of seven series in the North Division is tied 1-1, but, while coach Dominique Ducharme has said the Canadiens are in good shape after winning Game 1, there is a disturbing trend as the series travels to the Bell Center to return – return games on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The Canadians can’t score, a problem that plagued the team in the recent playoffs.

Montreal scored three goals in its first two playoff games and none of them were scored by the first six forwards. One of their goals was shorthanded and they are 0 for 6 on the power play.

Ducharme tried to look on the bright side on Saturday.

“I don’t think (the Leafs) are going to score five goals a night,” Ducharme said. “Tonight was a different night.

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Good point, but unless the Canadiens find a way to fabricate an offense, two or three goals could be enough for the Leafs.

Montreal and Toronto played tied in the first period, but the Leafs grabbed the momentum in the second period as two factors played against the Canadiens. They took the only four penalties of the period and struggled to win face-offs.

Auston Matthews gave the Leafs their first lead of the series and Rasmus Sandin scored a power-play goal that caused a challenge for the coach, which was unusual because Carey Price didn’t complain after the puck found its way into the traffic in front of the net. .

The retake showed Joe Thornton’s stick accidentally in contact with Price’s stick, but the puck was already in the net and the challenge, which was a case of desperation or wishful thinking, fell through.

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Ducharme said video coach Mario Leblanc, goaltending coach Sean Burke and team vice-president John Sedgwick who, Ducharme noted, worked in the NHL before joining the Canadiens, have saw the action from above and are in radio contact with the bench. Ducharme said the final decision was his, but said everyone was okay with Thornton touching Price’s stick.

Price, who arguably had the best perspective on what had happened, was asked three times if he thought there was interference in the game and, each time, said he should check the replay.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi replaced injured Jake Evans and he played well enough to win another start when the series moved to Montreal.

The 20-year-old Finn, who broke into the playoff bubble in Toronto last summer, scored Montreal’s lone goal and, on a night when the Canadiens won just 34% of the face-offs, he won six of 11 for a 55% success rate. He was the only Montreal center over 50 percent as Nick Suzuki won three of 13 and the usually reliable Phil Danault won six of 21.

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After Kotkaniemi scored, he pointed to the rafters with four raised fingers. He said he recognized the four healthy scratches that shared the press gallery with him for the first game.

One of those players is rookie Cole Caufield, who has a reputation for putting the puck in the net at the USHL and US college levels. Caufield has scored four goals, including two overtime winners, in 10 NHL games.

When asked if Caufield could be in lineup Monday, Ducharme replied, “Possible.”

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