Anderson scores twice as Canadiens down Oilers 4-3

Anderson scores twice as Canadiens down Oilers 4-3

EDMONTON — Josh Anderson scored twice as the Montreal Canadiens survived a late Edmonton flurry to defeat the Oilers 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Tyler Toffoli and Artturi Lehkonen had the other goals for Montreal (20-15-9). Jake Allen made 22 saves as the Canadiens picked up just their third win in the last nine games to move eight points clear of the Calgary Flames for the North Division’s fourth and final playoff spot. Jeff Petry and Tomas Tatar had two assists each.

Connor McDavid, with a goal and two assists, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jesse Puljujarvi replied for Edmonton (27-16-2), which got 27 stops from Mike Smith. The Oilers, who beat Montreal 4-1 on Monday and had won eight straight at home, missed a chance to leapfrog the Winnipeg Jets for second in the standings.

The Canadiens were minus No. 1 goalie Carey Price (concussion) after he got bumped up high by Edmonton’s Alex Chiasson in Monday’s first period. The former Hart and Vezina trophy winner, who will be out at least a week, had just returned to Montreal’s lineup Saturday following a six-game absence with a lower-body injury.

The Oilers, meanwhile, got a boost with the return of Nugent-Hopkins after the forward missed four contests with an upper-body ailment.

McDavid tied the game 1-1 with his 25th goal of the season when the NHL’s scoring leader took a stretch pass from Caleb Jones off a Montreal turnover before moving in alone and beating Allen upstairs at 3:09 of the second period.

But Anderson, who said following the morning skate it was time for his team to start playing playoff hockey with 13 games left on their schedule, responded just 11 seconds later when he bullied his way past Adam Larsson and snapped his 16th shortside on Smith.

The Oilers’ power play went to work later in the period, but continued to struggle against the Canadiens, who had killed 22-of-24 penalties against Edmonton coming into Wednesday.

Montreal, which entered 2-6-0 over its last eight and had scored just 12 times since losing heart-and-soul winger Brendan Gallagher to a broken thumb April 5, led Monday’s contest 1-0 with 10 minutes left in regulation before the home side exploded with four goals — sparked by McDavid’s three points — to turn the tide late.

There wouldn’t be a repeat 48 hours later as the Canadiens’ struggling power play finally connected at 8:10 of the third when Toffoli jumped on a Josh Archibald turnover that went off Smith and right to the Montreal sniper for him to bury his 22nd, snapping a 3-for-35 run with the man advantage.

Anderson then put things out of reach with 4:47 remaining when he backhanded his 17th on a sequence that stood after a coach’s challenge for goalie interference on Smith.

Nugent-Hopkins scored his 13th on a power play with 2:12 left and Smith on the bench for an extra attacker, and Puljujarvi scored another one late, but Montreal held on.

Having scored just 18 combined goals during a 3-7-0 stretch coming into Wednesday, the Canadiens were the better team in the first and got their reward late in the period. Jesperi Kotkaniemi moved into the Edmonton zone and delayed before finding a hard-charging Lehkonen, who made a nice backhand move to beat Smith from in tight with 28.9 seconds left on the clock to score his fourth, and first in 11 games.

The opening 20 minutes had a similar feel to Monday’s physical start as the teams combined for 43 hits. Things actually got heated in warmups when Anderson had a brief chat with Chiasson at centre — the topic was no doubt retribution for Price’s injury — before Edmonton’s Zack Kassian joined the conversation.

Chiasson dropped the gloves with Corey Perry once the action started in a short tussle. Kassian then went to hit Canadiens captain Shea Weber, but appeared to injure his left leg, was helped to the locker room and didn’t return.

Puljajarvi, who had a goal and an assist Monday, tested Allen with a sizzling shot moments later, and Kotkaniemi forced a nice save out of Smith at the other end on a redirection before the Canadiens broke through late in the period.

The Canadiens now head south to Calgary where they’ll play three crucial games against the Flames. The Oilers don’t suit up again until Monday — another long break after playing just 11 times in 32 days because of various scheduling changes related to the pandemic — when they visit the Jets for the first of two in Winnipeg.

Notes: Edmonton and Montreal will meet May 10 and 12 at the Bell Centre to wrap up their regular-season series. … Acquired from the Detroit Red Wings prior to the NHL trade deadline and having served the mandatory seven-day quarantine, defenceman Jon Merrill made his Canadiens debut. … Oilers blue-liner Dmitry Kulikov worked out with his new team for the first time Wednesday morning since coming over in a deal with the New Jersey Devils. It’s expected he’ll be available against Winnipeg next week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

file photo
PM tells Canadians to prepare for one-dose summer, two-dose fall

Chief Public Health Officer says 75 per cent getting first dose is target to avoid fourth wave

Chris Scott, owner of the Whistle Stop Cafe, speaks during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at his cafe in Mirror on Saturday. The Whistle Stop was shut down by AHS for not complying with COVID-19 rules. (Photo by The Canadian Press)
Central Alberta café owner and COVID-19 protester released from custody

Chris Scott was arrested at protest rally outside his cafe on Saturday

Free items can be left in front of homes during this weekend’s Kick it to the Curb event. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Kick It to the Curb runs this weekend in Red Deer

Unwanted items can be left by the curb this weekend in Red… Continue reading

Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro announced Wednesday that Alberta Health will give rapid COVID-19 tests to a local chamber of commerce, who will then distribute them to local businesses. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
Businesses to get access to rapid COVID-19 tests through local chamber of commerce

Alberta Health is partnering with the Alberta Chamber of Commerce to deliver… Continue reading

A 2018 Jayco Pinnacle fifth wheel model 37MDQS valued at over $100,000 was stolen from Masco RV Storage in Wetaskiwin earlier this week. (Photo courtesy of Wetaskiwin RCMP)
A 2018 Jayco Pinnacle fifth wheel model 37MDQS valued at over $100,000 was stolen from Masco RV Storage in Wetaskiwin earlier this week. (Photo courtesy of Wetaskiwin RCMP)
Fifth wheel RV stolen from Wetaskiwin RV Storage compound

Wetaskiwin RCMP is looking for information about a stolen RV. A break-in… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Here is a list of latest COVID-19 restrictions in effect in Alberta

New mandatory health restrictions are now in effect in Alberta. Additional restrictions… Continue reading

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) celebrates with defenseman Victor Hedman (77) after the team defeated the Dallas Stars during an NHL hockey game Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
Analysis: McDavid NHL’s MVP front-runner in condensed season

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid has 100-plus point season

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) makes a save as Maple Leafs defenceman TJ Brodie (78) and Montreal Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli (73) look for the rebound during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday, May 8, 2021. The Leafs and the Canadiens will meet in the playoffs for the first time in 42 years when the 2020-21 NHL post-season gets underway.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Singer Celine Dion performs during her first World Tour show called Courage Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Songbird Uncaged: Celine Dion readies return to Las Vegas stage for 10-date run

Starting on Nov. 5, Dion will play 10 dates at the Resorts World Las Vegas theatre

An Empire Day/Victoria Day gathering of school children on Ross Street by the Cenotaph in the 1920s. On the right hand side, are members of the Red Deer Citizens Band (forerunner of the Red Deer Royals). (Photo via Red Deer Archives)
Victoria Day event helped after war

One hundred years ago, on May 24, 1921, a major community event… Continue reading

Gwynne Dyer
Gwynne Dyer: Independence is a one-way gate

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland declared in 2014 that the referendum… Continue reading

Boston Bruins left wing Nick Ritchie (21) and Washington Capitals defenseman Brenden Dillon (4) battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Raffl’s late goal pushes Capitals past Bruins, 2-1

Raffl’s late goal pushes Capitals past Bruins, 2-1

Chicago Blackhawks left wing Alex DeBrincat (12) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers in Chicago, Saturday, May 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Toews’ question chases Chicago Blackhawks into offseason

Toews’ question chases Chicago Blackhawks into offseason

Most Read