Street-weary Canadians were shaken up in Minnesota – Archyde

Goalkeeper Cayden Primeau is ripped after giving up five goals on 32 shots in two thirds as Montreal was defeated 8-2 by the Wild.

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The Canadians seem determined to make life difficult for their goalkeepers.

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Cayden Primeau had 32 shots in the first two halves on Monday night as the Canadiens completed a 10-game road trip with an 8-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. The Canadians, who had scored points in three straight games, finished the trip with a 1-5-4 record.

Primeau, who made 43 saves to help the Canadians salvage a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, kept the game tight in the first half when the Wild stopped him with 21 shots tested and took a 2-1 lead. But Minnesota took control in the second half as they scored three unanswered goals, including two in 22 seconds.

Montreal opened the game strongly and took a 1-0 lead as Mike Hoffman defeated Cam Talbot, who started for the first time since his injury at the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day. Jeff Petry, who has struggled this season, grabbed an assist for his 300th NHL point.

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But the lead was short-lived. Jared Spurgeon scored at 3:04 and Primeau was caught out of position when Marcus Foligno put the Wild ahead almost midway through the third.

Connor Dewar scored his first NHL goal at 4:01 of the second period and set up Nico Sturm’s goal at 4:23. That was more than enough to win the league’s worst attacker, but Mats Zuccarello struck with a shot from the goal-line with 31 seconds remaining. His shot caught Primeau in the shoulder and locked in.

A young Canadiens fan holds up a sign offering to help his favorite club Monday night in Minnesota.
A young Canadiens fan holds up a sign offering to help his favorite club Monday night in Minnesota. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing /USA TODAY sports

That marked the end of Primeau’s night. He was replaced in the third by Michael McNiven, who was making his NHL debut. He held a break when Zuccarello fired wide on a breakaway, but Matt Boldy scored on a power play and Jordie Benn and Kevin Fiala competed for the goal.

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The Wild also switched goalies in the third half and Kaapo Kahkonen gave up a goal to Rem Pitlick, who started the season in Minnesota.

The Canadians were outnumbered for most of the game after Christian Dvorak was hit in the head by Spurgeon’s racquet. There was no penalty for the game, but it will warrant a second review by NHL player safety officials.

The extended road trip – the Canadians have not paid at the Bell Center since December 16 – came as a result of a series of postponed games due to COVID restrictions. As a result, the Canadiens will play 10 of their next 11 games at home, beginning with Thursday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. The team is awaiting word on when they will be allowed to have fans in the building.

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Dominique Ducharme’s starting lineup included two players with strong Minnesota ties – Ryan Poehling and Pitlick.

Poehling played for Lakeville North High School and played at the Xcel Energy Center for the first time since attending the Minnesota State High School Championships. Pitlick was born in Ottawa, where his father played Lance for the Senators, but the family’s roots lie in Minnesota. Rem played high school hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary’s and the University of Minnesota. His father also visited Minnesota and his younger brother Rhett, who was the Canadians’ 2019 fifth-round draft pick, is a freshman for the Golden Gophers.

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