Offends a no-show as the hall sells out fans go home disappointed – .

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Offends a no-show as the hall sells out fans go home disappointed – .


Montreal has been limited to one goal in each of its three games and the power play is 0-11.

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Jake Allen did his job, but the offense was once again sidelined as the New York Rangers clinched a 3-1 victory at the Bell Center on Saturday to spoil the Canadiens’ home opener.

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The Canadiens lost their first three games and you only have to look at the statistics to see why. Montreal has been limited to one goal in each of the three games and the power play is 0 to 11.

Jonathan Drouin, who returns from an extended leave to deal with anxiety issues, has scored two of three goals, but the young stars the Canadiens rely on – Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield – have yet to collect a point.

“It doesn’t usually happen with him,” said coach Dominique Ducharme. “Some guys say it’s tightening the stick and other guys say he’s looking for a perfect shot, but when guys like that throw in and they get those pucks they don’t even think about it. It’s completely natural when you get a shot that you know it’s going to come in. At the moment, we don’t have that as a team.

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“We have to do a better job of creating offense,” Suzuki said. “Obviously it gets frustrating when we’re not scoring on the power play; it takes away the momentum.

Suzuki said he believed the Canadians did a better job entering the attacking zone, but said there were disconnections. He said he missed Caufield in the lunge on one occasion and all too often the Rangers have managed to clear the puck before Montreal got a shot.

The Canadians only managed one shot in two power-play superiorities in the first period and ended the night 0 for 3 with five shots on goal.

“Nobody wants to start seasons 0 and 3,” said Drouin. “I thought we played a big game in Toronto, we were terrible in Buffalo and tonight was more of our game. But that single power-play goal (from Chris Kreider) in the second period gave too much momentum to our 5v5 game. ”

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The Canadians outscored Rangers 32-24 with a 27-16 lead in the last two periods, but Drouin said the Canadians hadn’t put enough pressure on Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin.

“We played too much on the outside,” said Drouin. “There were a lot of rebounds from this goalie. He played well, but there were a lot of rebounds in the slot and around the net and there weren’t a lot of guys there to capitalize on those rebounds. We need this dirty goal. We’ve had a lot of shots, but we need guys around the net. “

On his goal, Drouin was entering the lunge when he caught a pass from Christian Dvorak, who had spun behind the net. Dvorak turns out to be a major upgrade from Jesperi Kotkaniemi. It’s a legitimate center that won 15 of its 22 face-offs on Saturday.

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Drouin said he expected a warm welcome from the first large crowd at the Bell Center in 585 days, but he didn’t expect it to be as loud as he was. The Canadians announced a crowd of 20,105 sold-out spectators, but there were several hundred empty seats.

While fans were happy to be back in the building, the happiest fans were Alexis Lafrenière’s family. From a private box, they watched their son, the first pick in the 2020 draft and a native of St-Eustache, score the game-winning goal 26 seconds after Drouin tied the score at 1-1.

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