Habs Finish Preseason With 2 Consecutive Wins

The Montreal Canadiens finish the 2017 preseason with a 2-6-0 record – both of their wins coming in the final two games of the exhibition period.

Beginning on September 18th, the Habs had a rough start to the preseason as they dropped their first six in regulation time. Over the course of the six games, they were outscored 25-9. However, the preseason is always a good opportunity to give prospects and new signees the chance to battle for roster spots. It’s also a good time for the coaching staff to mix up the lines and see what works, and that is exactly what head coach Claude Julien and his staff did.

 

Even if your preseason record means nothing (and it really doesn’t), Habs fans will be happy to know that the team finished on a high note on a two game winning streak.

On Sept. 29, Montreal hosted and defeated the Florida Panthers by a 3-1 score. 23-year old Charlie Lindgren stopped 22 of 23 shots in the victory, backed up by fellow prospect goalie Zach Fucale. Offensively, the game was highlighted by Paul Byron’s two goals, while Andrew Shaw and Phillip Danault picked up a pair of assists each.

Saturday night saw the Habs and Ottawa Senators meet for the second time this preseason – first at the Bell Centre. At the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata week prior, the Laval Rocket-dominated lineup wasn’t as fortunate as they suffered a 5-1 loss to the rivals. Fast-forward a week and the Habs won a decisive preseason victory of their own by a 9-2 score. Ottawa was forced to make a goalie change with 16:08 remaining in the game after the floodgates opened and the Habs scored six. Drouin, Gallagher and Pacioretty all picked up three points each, while Gallagher and de la Rose had a pair of goals each and Price made 15 saves on 17 shots.

After much criticism towards Alex Galchenyuk on social media over the past few days, he picked up a multi-point single shift in the first period with a goal and an assist. Fan favourite prospect Victor Mete scored Montreal’s 9th goal of the game, adding onto an assist earlier on in the game.

 

As always, a 2-6-0 preseason record is no indication to panic. Keep in mind, the Colorado Avalanche (6-0-0), Detroit Red Wings (6-1-1) and Arizona Coyotes (5-1-2) made up the top three teams in the 2016 NHL preseason and finished the regular season 25th, 30th and 28th respectively.

Montreal will have a few days off before opening their season on Thurs, Oct. 5 (7 p.m. ET) at the KeyBank Center against the Buffalo Sabres.

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