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Canadiens blow a 4-0 first-period lead and lose 7-6 to Canucks in OT

A tough night for goalies as Habs' Sam Montembeault allows seven goals on 32 shots after winning his last two starts.

Canucks players celebrate in front of Canadiens goalie Samuel Montembeault after Elias Pettersson scored in overtime for a 7-6 victory Monday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Canucks players celebrate in front of Canadiens goalie Samuel Montembeault after Elias Pettersson scored in overtime for a 7-6 victory Monday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. Photo by DARRYL DYCK /THE CANADIAN PRESS

VANCOUVER — Fans back in Montreal who went to bed after the first period of Monday night’s game between the Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena must have got a shock when they woke up Tuesday morning.

The Canadiens had a 4-0 lead after the first period and it looked like this game — which started at 10:30 p.m. Montreal time — was over.

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Far from it.

This ended up being a nightmare for the Canadiens, who lost 7-6 after 13 seconds of overtime on a goal by the Canucks’ Elias Pettersson.

Ilya Mikheyev had two goals for Vancouver, while Conor Garland, Bo Horvat, Jack Studnicka and Andrei Kuzmenko added singles as the Canucks improved their record to 11-12-3.

Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki, Sean Monahan, Michael Pezzetta, Christian Dvorak and Josh Anderson scored for the Canadiens, who saw their record fall to 12-11-2.

This was not a good night for goaltenders. The Canadiens’ Sam Montembeault allowed seven goals on 32 shots for a .781 save percentage. The Canucks’ Spencer Martin allowed four goals on nine shots in the first 16:17 of the game before being replaced by Collin Delia.

The Canadiens were still leading 4-2 after two periods, but fell behind 5-4 less than nine minutes into the third period. Then things got really crazy.

Dvorak scored at 15:23 and then Anderson scored at 17:00 to put the Canadiens back in the lead. Canadiens defenceman Johnathan Kovacevic then took a tripping penalty at 18:28 and with Delia on the bench for an extra attacker, Kuzmenko scored at 18:35 on the six-on-four advantage to tie it up again.

In overtime, Canadiens defenceman Mike Matheson fell down while being checked by Pettersson, who then took the puck and made a nifty forehand-to-backhand move before beating Montembeault through the five-hole.

Montembeault had won his two previous starts — in Columbus and Chicago — while stopping 60 of the 63 shots he faced for a .952 save percentage. Montembeault’s record fell to 5-2-2 with a 2.97 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage.

Expect Jake Allen to be in goal when the Canadiens’ wrap up their four-game road trip Tuesday in Seattle against the Kraken (10 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio).

The Canadiens got more bad news in this game when Monahan was forced to leave the game in the second period and didn’t return. Monahan was seen after the game still wearing the plastic-boot walking cast on his right foot that he has been wearing since the first game of this road trip in Calgary last Thursday.

Before the game, the Canadiens announced that defenceman David Savard had an upper-body injury and wouldn’t be able to play and that forward Brendan Gallagher would miss at least two more weeks with his lower-body injury.

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