About Last Night: Montembeault earns next start in win over Columbus

Sam Montembeault made 30 saves in the 3-1 win. Seven different Habs hit the scoresheet.

After giving up two goals in the first minute in a 7-2 drubbing against Buffalo the night before, the Habs and Jackets were held scoreless for 40 minutes before the home team broke the ice early in the third. The Habs countered with three unanswered goals to skate away with the win.

Defencemen Arber Xhekaj and Johnathan Kovacevic returned to the lineup, with Chris Wideman and Jordan Harris sitting.

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The first two periods were pretty even in terms of shots and chances. After finishing his check, Michael Pezzetta dropped the gloves with Erik Gudbranson. Montembeault also stopped consecutive breakaways to keep it scoreless.

As good as Montembeault was, Joonas Korpisalo was equally up to the challenge.

Mathieu Olivier opened scoring at 1:08 of the third off a turnover up the middle of the ice by Mike Matheson.

Just 90 seconds later, Xhekaj’s point shot made it through traffic, with Juraj Slafkovsky providing the near-deflection, to tie it up 1-1.

Under a minute later, the quick outburst of offence concluded with David Savard making his way to the front of the net. The puck went off his skate and past Korpisalo to give Montreal a 2-1 at 3:35 of the third.

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With Johnny Gaudreau flying up the ice in the final minutes of play, Sean Monahan ended things with the 3-1 empty netter.

It was an uneventful game with a three-minute flash of offence, but after Tuesday’s meltdown against Buffalo, the Habs will happily take a boring win on the road. Arber Xhekaj proved how valuable he is to the lineup at the moment, so there’s a possibility Jordan Harris could be the odd man out, or sent down to Laval. Many of the liveblog commenters have U.S. Thanksgiving coming up, so we’ll see who can make Friday’s afternooner, but one thing they seem to agree on: Sam Montembeault deserves another shot in goal.

3. “Unless we could obtain a goalie who could start for us, I wouldn’t trade Monahan. He’s a solid player for us.” — Bob Taylor

2. “Arber has a great slapper, but I think all his goals have been with the wrister. He really knows how to get that on net past any intervening players.” — Michael Way

1. “After the second intermission, both coaches said ‘Guys, maybe we are over emphasizing the defence part.’ After 3 quick goals, coaches say ‘Guys, can we PLEASE find a balance?’” — Michael Way

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