it’s “really frustrating”, says Nick Suzuki – .

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it’s “really frustrating”, says Nick Suzuki – .


The biggest smile at the Bell Center was on Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s face after scoring for the Hurricanes in a 4-1 win to drop the Canadiens’ record to 0-5.

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This is what a $ 6.1 million smile looks like.

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The biggest smile at the Bell Center Thursday night was on Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s face after scoring the Hurricanes’ third goal in a 4-1 win over the Canadiens.

It was Kotkaniemi’s first point in three games this season after accepting a $ 6.1 million offer from the Hurricanes that the Canadiens decided not to match and it helped Carolina improve their record to 3-0 -0, while the Canadiens fell to 0-5-0.

There were no smiles on the faces of the Canadiens after the game. They have now been outscored 19-4 this season and are 1-for-19 in power. The Canadians went 1-for-6 against the Hurricanes with Tyler Toffoli scoring their first power play goal of the season to reduce the Hurricanes’ lead to 2-1 at 17:57 of the second period.

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Kotkaniemi deflected a shot to make it 3-1 at 9:23 of the third period and Sebastian Aho scored his second of the night in an empty net to seal Carolina’s victory with 39 seconds left. The same Sebastian Aho, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin tried to pull out of Carolina with a five-year US $ 42.295 million offer two years ago that the Hurricanes matched. Aho also had an assist.

“It’s tough right now,” said Canadian Nick Suzuki after the game. “Confidence for our group just seems to be low. There are pieces that we do all the time and we just don’t perform them. It is definitely a difficult time. We had some of these stretches my first (year) and even last year these stretches. Good teams find a way out. You really have to bounce back. “

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Suzuki is still chasing his first goal this season, like every other Canadiens player except Jonathan Drouin (who has two), Chris Wideman and Toffoli.

“It’s the NHL… it’s not easy to score goals,” said Toffoli, who led the Canadiens with 28 goals in 52 games last season. ” We’re trying. We are getting there little by little. Time is not necessarily short, but we need to come together and capitalize on our opportunities.

The Canadians appeared to take a 1-0 lead at 5:33 of the first period when Brendan Gallagher deflected a point shot on the power play, but the goal did not count after a video review for interference with the goalkeeper .

“It’s such a fine line,” Toffoli said of the goalkeeper interference. “I’m not here to complain. But a match is a goal and the next match is not. It is certainly frustrating. For Gally too, that’s how he scores his goals.

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“It’s not an easy job,” Toffoli added of the video judges. “Whatever their decision, that’s what we had to follow and you can’t use that as an excuse. We have to find a way. It’s still early in the game and there’s no excuse for it.

The Canadians were outscored 33-28 but had plenty of scoring opportunities.

“We’re working on it as much as we can,” said Josh Anderson. “There were several chances out there in the blue paint. We just couldn’t finish the puck. We recalled a goal. But we just have to keep working. We have 20 guys in that locker room every night. You have to keep working on it and fighting together and once you go from there.

Suzuki admitted that the level of frustration increases in the Canadiens’ locker room as the losses pile up without any wins.

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“When everyone is frustrated you start to have different pages and that’s never a good thing for a hockey team,” he said. “It’s really, really frustrating right now. Somehow we have to find a way to get the first one in. But we started the game well, some pucks just didn’t go into the net or they were just in the box.

“It’s a team game and when a team is successful all the players are successful and you start having fun,” Suzuki added. “It wasn’t fun losing all those games. We just need to find our first one and I think we can get the ball rolling and regain our confidence and really help the team.

Kotkaniemi looks like he’s having a lot of fun with the Hurricanes. He was on the left wing on the top line with fellow Finns Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, registering 12:58 of ice time with three shots and three hits to go with his goal.

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“I love his potential, for sure,” Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme said after morning practice Thursday when asked what he liked about Kotkaniemi during his time in Montreal. “I think sometimes he really showed it. Being consistent is tough for a young player and going through those ups and downs. But he’s a good boy. He is appreciated by his teammates.

“I’ve said it before, I wish I could have continued working with him, but I understand his situation where they put this heap of money on the table for him. He said yes. Who would have said no?

Exactly.

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