Montreal Canadiens down Edmonton Oilers 3-1, sweep series

Montreal Canadiens down Edmonton Oilers 3-1, sweep series

EDMONTON — Shea Weber’s goal held up as the game-winner as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 Monday night.

Rookie Alexander Romanov and Arttuti Lehkonen also scored for Montreal (2-0-1), which beat Edmonton (1-3-0) for the second time in three nights.

The Habs also trounced the Oilers 5-1 on Saturday.

Goalie Jake Allen made 25 saves in his debut for the Canadiens

Montreal’s penalty kill was key in the victory, shutting down Oilers snipers Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on seven power plays.

Mikko Koskinen stopped 31-of-34 shots for Edmonton.

He conceded a short-handed goal 12:15 into the third period after Lehkonen broke up a pass in his own zone and sprinted up the ice with the puck on his stick. He put a quick snap shot past Koskinen for his first of the season, and put Montreal up 3-0.

Edmonton clawed a goal back with just over two minutes to go, though, with Devin Shore popping a snap shot past Allen for a short-handed tally.

Koskinen allowed one to get past earlier in the game on a Montreal power play with seconds to go in the second period.

Edmonton had the man advantage when McDavid was called for hooking, leading to 1:20 of 4-on-4 hockey before the Habs got a 40-second power play to close out the frame.

With about 11 seconds left on the clock, Montreal’s Jeff Petry drove through the slot and Shore careened into Koskinen.

Meanwhile, Weber launched a shot from the side of the net and Koskinen made the initial stop. He couldn’t control the rebound, though, which bounced back out to Weber. The defenceman batted it in off Koskinen’s back as he lay in the crease with Shore underneath him.

The goal was instantly called off, with the official saying Petry caused goalie interference when he sent Shore crashing into his netminder.

Montreal coach Claude Julien elected to challenge the call and, upon review, the officials agreed, giving Weber his first goal of the season and a 2-0 lead for Montreal.

Montreal already had a first-period tally from Romanov, who opened the scoring 9:53 into the game with a shot from just below the blue line. The puck rocketed through traffic and past Koskinen stick side for the Russian rookie’s first NHL goal.

Montreal selected Romanov, 21, 38th overall in the 2018 draft.

The Canadiens scored on one of its five power plays.

Montreal had to kill off three penalties in the first period alone, including more than 30 seconds of 5-on-3 play.

Edmonton had some promising opportunities across the stretch — including a big shot from McDavid that ricocheted off the knob of Allen’s stick — but the Habs didn’t surrender a goal.

As a crucial part of the penalty kill, Weber played 9:10 in the first frame alone.

Montreal will open a three-game series with the Canucks in Vancouver on Wednesday. The Oilers will be in Toronto the same night to battle the Leafs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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