The Canadian learned Saturday night at TD Garden that he can’t compete blow-for-blow against the Eastern Conference leaders.
Danton Heinen scored a hat trick, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each had a goal and an assist and the Boston Bruins defeated the Montreal club 9-4.
Before the match, the Bruins paid tribute to the members of the 1987-88 edition, which ended a “curse” of 45 years without beating the Canadian in the playoffs.
The spectacle that followed was reminiscent of 1980s offensive hockey.
The Bruins took advantage of the Canadian’s numerous errors in his execution to accumulate goals after turnovers or excessive attacks.
The Canadian held out for two periods thanks, in particular, to two power play goals. However, he ended up breaking against a team with more resources than him.
Cole Caufield, Joel Armia, Mike Matheson and Brendan Gallagher scored for the Canadian (19-20-7), which allowed more than five goals for the second straight game. Sean Monahan had three assists and Samuel Montembeault allowed eight goals on 30 shots before giving way to Cayden Primeau midway through the third period. Primeau stopped five shots.
Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk also had a goal and an assist each, while Brandon Carlo and Pavel Zacha were the other scorers for the Bruins (28-8-9), who won their fourth straight game. James van Riemsdyk had two assists and Linus Ullmark made 17 saves.
The Canadian has lost his last seven games in Boston. His last road victory against the Bruins dates back to January 14, 2019.
Forward Josh Anderson returned to the Habs lineup after a four-game absence due to a lower-body injury. Jesse Ylönen was left out.
The Canadian will play his next game on Tuesday, when he hosts the Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre.
Action on both sides
Caufield opened the scoring for the Canadian on a power play at 9:18 of the first period. Thus, for the fifth consecutive game, he hit the target: a personal best for him.
Carlo answered for the Bruins at 12:47, scoring off a pass from Trent Frederic during a two-on-two attack.
Armia then took advantage of a pass from Joshua Roy to score his eighth goal of the season at 15:00 and give the Canadian a 2-1 lead.
DeBrusk tied the game 2-2 with 1:50 left on the clock. He threaded the needle on his way back to the net.
Heinen then gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead with 54.4 seconds left in the first period. He got lucky when Matt Grzelcyk’s shot deflected off his skate into the mouth of the net before crossing the goal line.
Matheson tied the game 3-3 with a power play goal at 6:16 of the second period. He took advantage of a Monahan putback and beat Ullmark with a sharp shot from the glove side.
The Bruins, however, regained control of the game thanks to two goals in a 49-second span.
Heinen gave the Bruins a 4-3 lead at 10:46 of halftime. He scored his second goal of the game with a precise shot during a two-on-one attack.
Coyle then widened the gap by winning a run on a puck sent to the front of the net by Pastrnak. He pushed the puck through the opening just before Montembeault intercepted it.
Gallagher cut the lead to a single goal before the end of the second half. He was credited with a goal at 13:19 when Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm clumsily slid a return shot under Ullmark’s pad.
The CH collapses
The Bruins dealt tough blows to the Habs’ hopes by scoring twice early in the third period.
Pastrnak took advantage of a disagreement between Gallagher and Jayden Struble to escape. He scored on his own return at 1:26.
Marchand then scored at 4:32 with a one-timer moments after Coyle intercepted a dangerous pass from Juraj Slafkovsky in his own territory.
Zacha pressed the iron into the wound by scoring the 100th goal of his NHL career at 9:13. This goal put an end to Montembeault’s ordeal.
Heinen finally completed his hat trick by scoring on the power play with 9:20 left in the game.