Photo: Graham Hughes The canadian Press
The Canadian cashed a fifth defeat this season when it leads after two periods.
The Canadian will need to remember the lesson, so that his lack of opportunism has allowed the New Jersey Devils to stay in the match and eventually win 3-2 in overtime, Saturday.
Nico Hischier tied it 2-2 with 8:34 to do in the third period after a scrum in front of the net of local. And then the Swiss 20-year-old has put an end to the debate after 1:56 in overtime, when he beat Antti Niemi with a shot of the cuffs specific to the short side.
The club has received a fifth defeat this season when it leads after two periods (14-2-3).
“I think it was pretty obvious we were the better team,” noted head coach of the Canadian, Claude Julien. The reason why we received a defeat in overtime is that we didn’t take advantage of our chances to score.
“After two periods, the gap would have had to be more important than 2-1. But when you allow the opponent to stay in the game because you do not take advantage of your opportunities, it often comes back to haunt you. “
Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Phillip Danault have hit the target for the Canadian (28-18-6), who had won five of its six previous meetings. Niemi made 24 saves.
Will Butcher has also scored in regulation time for the Devils (20-24-7), who were on their third trip of the week. MacKenzie Blackwood was pushed out of 37 shots.
Despite a good effort, the Canadian has not been able to get rid of the hoodoo return to the game after the mandatory break of five days.
Since the addition of the compulsory leave of five days during the season 2016-17, teams who return to the game had a folder of 16-21-6 when they face a formation that is not holiday — including the first four cases in this season (2-2-0) before the matches on Saturday.
Julien had mentioned, on Friday, that the leave of nine days, including the break of the all-star game, couldn’t have been that beneficial, particularly for a young person as a Kotkaniemi, which is in a first season with a schedule as loaded.
Kotkaniemi and his compatriots Artturi Lehkonen and Joel Armia have experienced a strong match. Kotkaniemi opened the scoring after 5:22 of the game following a delivery of Lehkonen.
The choice of the first round by the Habs last June has also got a golden opportunity to double the advance of his own when he presented himself alone in front of Blackwood. It has, however, missed the target after you have made a nice deke to his backhand.
“He had a lot of energy, said Julien about Kotkaniemi. In the first period, I believe he would have been able to score four goals. “
Butcher countered with 44 seconds to go in the first period, during a numerical advantage in two players.
Danault has revived the Canadian by deflecting a shot from Jeff Petry with 3:27 to play in the second period, but Hischier allowed visitors to have the last word.
The Canadian has been milled on three occasions in numerical advantage.
Paul Byron was to return to play for Canada after having served a suspension of three games for checking to the head against the defender of the Panthers of Florida Mackenzie Weegar on January 15. Kenny Agostino and Michael Chaput had been left out.
Carey Price was not in uniform because he was suspended for a meeting to have decided not to go to the all-star game after receiving an invitation. Michael McNiven was the deputy of Niemi, but he has been demoted within the Rocket of Laval, in the american hockey League, after the meeting. Defender Karl Alzner has been recalled in the grand club.
The Canadian will be back in action on Sunday afternoon, when it will host the Edmonton Oilers. Price is expected to defend the net on the Habs.
Echoes of locker room
Jeff Petry knew that the Canadian had to make sure to have a good start to the game on its first outing in 10 days :
“We knew that this was their third game since their leave. We wanted to keep the game simple in the beginning of the game, sending the puck in the back of their area, and to activate our legs. […] We’ve done well in this aspect, but we must learn to preserve the lead. The matches will be more difficult for the rest of the season. “
Antti Niemi was disappointed to have been beaten short side by Nico Hischier extension :
“I didn’t think there was space. “
Joel Armia has admitted that he often said to his fellow Jesperi Kotkaniemi to launch at the net before the compliment :
“He is improving match by match and it is like that since the beginning of the season. Every workout, every game, it is a little bit better. “