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About Last Night: Senators get revenge on Habs with 6-3 win – Montreal Gazette

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Josh Anderson had two goals in the loss. Tyler Toffoli scored in his return to the lineup.

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A promising week ended with an emphatic thud Saturday night at the Bell Centre, where the Canadiens lost 6-3 to the Ottawa Senators.

Following a listless effort on Thursday that drew criticism from coach D.J. Smith, the young Senators lineup responded to the 4-1 loss with a physical, more aggressive tone, set 42 seconds into the contest when Brady Tkachuk opening scoring on the powerplay. Like a younger Corey Perry, Tkachuk has a fondness for parking himself in front of opposing goalies, and in this instance, spun around and shot the puck just out of goalie Carey Price’s reach.

Like the motivated Senators, the Canadiens also looked like a different team compared to their Thursday selves. Unfortunately for them, that meant swapping an airtight team game for defensive zone sloppiness. The biggest culprits? The typically sound Jeff Petry-Brett Kulak pairing was a combined minus-7 on the night, with Petry in particular a minus-5, meaning he was on the ice for all five even-strength/shorthanded goals on the night. Even Norris candidates have off-nights: if Thomas Chabot could be minus-3 on Thursday, Petry’s also not immune to the occasional struggle.

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Forward Tyler Toffoli, back after missing three games with a lower-body injury, connected on a one-timer pass from Nick Suzuki to tie the game at one. The Senators regained the lead shorthanded when Connor Brown and Nick Paul were given multiple chances to convert on Carey Price. Captain Shea Weber had an entertaining first period. After wiring a slap shot from the top of the circle recorded at 110 mp/h, the 35-year-old dropped the gloves with the 21-year-old Tkachuk. Earlier in the season, Weber chipped one of Tkachuk’s teeth, and it’s clear the two have developed a contentious relationship on the ice.

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Josh Anderson opened scoring in a busy second period. After Victor Mete made a strong play to keep the puck in the offensive zone, Jesperi Kotkaniemi connected with his new linemate, who roofed it past Sens netminder Anton Forsberg to tie the game 2-2. It didn’t last long: Evgenii Dadonov scored less than a minute later on a tip at his torso to make it 3-2.

Later in the second, a wide open Dadonov extended the lead to two when he fired home an Artem Anisimov pass. Not to be outdone, Josh Anderson also scored twice in the period, closing out the second by beating Forsberg in a pretty similar spot to his first one. Anderson was billed as a goals-in-bunches kind of scorer, and so far he’s living up to that billing as a Hab: after scoring nine in his first 13 games, he only produced two in his next 16. The Habs will hope he’s due for another torrid stretch.

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Also in the second, Brendan Gallagher went for a hit on Tim Stützle and immediately left for the dressing room hunched over. Habs fans breathed a sigh of relief when Gallagher returned for the opening of the third period.

Only down a goal, the Canadiens remained in striking distance of Ottawa, but the team that smothered the Oilers and Senators earlier this week didn’t emerge from the dressing room. Alex Formenton swiped the puck from Jeff Petry and then tipped a shot from Anisimov to give the Senators a 5-3 lead. With the goalie pulled at a little over three minutes remaining, Drake Batherson put the game out of reach with an empty-netter. The highlight of the third period was when they played DMX at the arena.

When your starting goalie has an .839 save percentage, it’s a bad night. When your $10.5M-per-season franchise goalie has an .839 save percentage, it’s pandemonium in the Habs liveblog comments section. The Weber-Tkachuk fight had nothing on the blows being delivered by the commenters. Some blamed the goalie, others felt the entire team delivered a lacklustre performance. The only thing that’s certain: the Habs return to action Monday night against the Edmonton Oilers. Eric Staal is expected to dress. Here are the three comment stars (the PG version, anyway):

3. “Was listening to the Rocket’s game last night hand the announcers were talking about the Gordie Howe Hat Trick. I thought it was named after him because he had done if often. Turns out that in over 1700 games, he only did it once. But apparently, he was the first.” -Marc Taillefer (He did it twice, apparently.) 2. “We are dreadful in our own end. All the bad habits re-emerging tonight.” -Derek Stevens 1. “5 goals to the Sens on 24 shots. I see we’ve used up our “rest” and gone back to underperform mode.” -Justin Miller


  1. Canadiens’ three-game win streak comes to an end with 6-3 loss to Sens

  2. The Ottawa Senators’ Nick Paul (13) congratulates teammate Connor Brown after he scored on Canadiens goalie Carey Price in game Saturday night at the Bell Centre.

    Canadiens Game Day: A night to forget for the Habs and Jeff Petry

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Boston Bruins Add Offense With Solid Taylor Hall Trade – Boston Hockey Now

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The Boston Bruins clearly understood they had serious deficiencies on their NHL roster this season and credit them for going and doing something about it.

The B’s finished off their Sunday night fireworks ahead of the NHL trade deadline by sending a second round pick and Anders Bjork to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for top-6 winger Taylor Hall and bottom-6 forward Curtis Lazar. TSN’s Darren Dreger, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and ESPN’s John Buccigross were the first to report about the completed deal between the Bruins and Buffalo Sabres in the hours following the B’s getting stomped by the Washington Capitals, 8-1, at TD Garden.

The Buffalo Sabres retained half of the $8 million salary that Hall signed for prior to the start of the 2021 hockey season.

The 29-year-old Hall is having a terrible season in Buffalo with just two goals and 19 points in 37 games along with a minus-21 rating after he chose to sign a one-year deal with the Sabres during the offseason. But he brings legitimate offensive talent as a former No. 1 overall pick and Hart Trophy winner to a Boston Bruins team that’s ranked in the bottom third of the NHL offensively all season.

The Bruins were one of the suitors for Hall prior to him choosing the Sabres months ago, and now they get him for a deep discount while keeping their own first round picks after making their deadline deals.

Holding onto their own first round pick was a priority for Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney after spending first rounders at the deadline in two of the last three deadlines in trades for damaged goods Rick Nash and Ondrej Kase.

The 26-year-old Lazar has five goals and 11 points in 33 games as a bottom-6 forward for the Sabres this season and is signed for $800,000 for next season. It seemed clear that something was going on with the 24-year-old Anders Bjork over the last couple of weeks as he was a healthy scratch for five straight games, including Sunday night against Washington, and heads to Buffalo hoping to further develop a game built on speed and skill level that hasn’t translated into offense as of yet.

Hall should fit right into the top-6 with the Bruins as a skilled winger for playmaking center David Krejci, but it remains to be seen how he’s going to fit as another left winger on a team with Nick Ritchie and Jake DeBrusk.

Either Ritchie or DeBrusk is going to have to play the off wing with a Krejci/Hall combo, but that’s a problem that Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy will gladly figure out after being forced to piece together lineups all season due to injuries and offensive inconsistency. With the acquisition of Hall, Lazar and left-handed defenseman Mike Reilly on Sunday night, it would appear the Boston Bruins are largely done with deals ahead of Monday’s NHL trade deadline.

Interestingly enough, the Boston Bruins are set to play the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night at TD Garden.

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Drouin must return to mentality that’s led to success this season – Sportsnet.ca

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It was something Dominique Ducharme said after his Montreal Canadiens played an abysmal game against the Ottawa Senators last week, something that only truly resonated after they lost 3-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday — a game that emboldened the struggle Jonathan Drouin’s currently enduring.

“Ninety per cent of the mistakes we made were mental, and the rest of it was above our shoulders.” the coach said after the 6-3 loss to Ottawa last Saturday, somewhat channelling New York Yankees legend Yogi Berra with this bit of wit and wisdom.

It was hard not to think of those words watching Drouin play the way he did on Wednesday. For much of this season, the talented left winger has played a primary role in Montreal’s success. He’s led them with 19 assists, been tenacious on the forecheck, physically engaged all over the ice, cerebral as always in his execution and, as he’s said on several occasions, relatively unconcerned by whether or not his name has been featured on the scoresheet.

But it seemed clear, after watching Drouin dump a breakaway into Jack Campbell’s chest with one of 32 shots the Maple Leafs goaltender turned aside to set a franchise record with his 10th consecutive win, he had diverted from that. And that affected the way he played the rest of the game.

It was Drouin’s fifth in a row without a point, his 18th without a goal, and he’d have to be a robot not to be suffering the mental wear of not seeing the puck go in more than twice since the season started, the torment of seeing only three per cent of his shots hit the back of the net through 36 games after 10 per cent of them resulted in goals through the first 348 games of his career.

“It is weighing on me where, when I have a chance and miss the goal, I might be trying to score too much,” Drouin said. “It’s something I obviously think about — every player would — and I’ve just gotta put it past me and just keep shooting pucks.”

Ideally, the 26-year-old wouldn’t be thinking about any of this. These are thoughts that weigh a player down and right now the Canadiens are in tough without Brendan Gallagher for the rest of the season and Drouin needs to be light and free to help account for that loss. And in order for him to do that, he needs to focus on what he does best.

Because the reality is that even though Drouin can score more, scoring isn’t what he needs to do in order to be at his best and really help this team.

“When his feet are moving and he’s making plays, Drou’s a pass-first guy,” explained Jake Allen, who made 29 saves in Carey Price’s absence. “When his feet are moving, his head’s always in it. When his feet are moving, he’s controlling the play, controlling the puck. He’s a guy who really can control the play for a whole line. You want the puck on that guy’s stick and let the other guys do the dirty work and he’ll find them.”

But when Drouin’s feet aren’t moving, there just isn’t enough of that other stuff happening.

When Drouin’s feet weren’t moving, he lost a battle for the puck in the offensive zone and allowed the NHL’s leading goal scorer to start the rush that resulted in the winning play of Wednesday’s game.

Auston Matthews to Mitch Marner, back to Matthews, off Allen and slammed into Montreal’s net by Zach Hyman with 9:39 remaining in the third period, with Drouin watching from just inside his own blue line.

“You give a 3-on-2 to the Matthews line and it’s the kind of play they’re going to make you pay on,” said Ducharme.

Was Drouin still thinking about that shot he didn’t bury in the second period?

It’s understandable if he was, but those are the kind of thoughts he needs to shake right now.

“He wants to do well, and I’m sure it’s getting a little bit in his head,” said Ducharme. “I think the best remedy for him is to be scoring that goal or making that big play, and I think he’s going to be energized by that and less thinking, more acting.

“It is a fine line. Those kind of thoughts is not something that you want to happen. But when you receive that puck and you see the opening and stuff, (the slump) comes back to (your mind). That’s why the mental part of the game is something that’s very tricky. It’s not his will to be thinking that way. Every player who’s going through a time like that will have that thought and scoring that goal will take him to a different level. At those kind of times you need to make it even simpler and being even more inside going at the net and finding a garbage (goal) right there and you put it in and sometimes you go on a little run. It might be that kind of goal that he needs to get that monkey off his back.”

It’s the kind of goal Corey Perry scored twice to give the Canadiens a chance in this game.

But Drouin isn’t Perry, who rightly pointed out after the game he’s made a career of scoring goals that way. And even if Drouin can borrow from what Perry does next time he has a chance like the one Brett Kulak set him up with for that breakaway, there are other ways he can positively impact the game.

You can appreciate that Drouin said he’s putting pressure on himself to score more and help make up for the goals the team will be missing with Gallagher sidelined, but that might not get him to where he needs to be mentally to contribute as much as he already has this season.

What would, though, is a sharp turn towards the mentality he described just days ago. The one that’s enabled him to be a much more consistent player this season than he has in seasons past.

“When I was younger, I’d stay on one game or stay on one play for too long and wouldn’t be able to let it go for a bit or a couple of days,” Drouin said. “But I think for me now it’s can I look at myself in the mirror after a game and did I give my good effort? Was I a part of this game? Was I doing something right in a lot of areas?

“That’s what I do now. I think points are there, goals are there, assists are there, but it’s just about playing that real game and playing to help your team win.”

Drouin’s done a lot of that this season and has a chance to get right back to it when the Winnipeg Jets visit the Bell Centre Thursday.

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Scioscia to lead U.S. baseball bid for spot at Tokyo Olympics

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(Reuters) – Mike Scioscia, who won World Series both as a player and manager, was named manager of the U.S. men’s national baseball team on Tuesday, as they seek a spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

After 19 seasons as manager of the Anaheim Angels, guiding them to their only World Series win in 2002, Scioscia will make his international coaching debut in June when the United States hosts the Baseball Americas Qualifier in Florida.

For the tournament the U.S. will be grouped with the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Nicaragua in Pool A while Canada, Colombia, Cuba, and Venezuela will make up Pool B.

The top two teams from each pool will advance to the Super Round, where the country with the best overall record will earn a spot in the Tokyo Olympic tournament.

Second and third-place finishers will advance to a final qualifier, joining Australia, China, Taiwan, and the Netherlands.

“Mike’s tenure with the Angels’ franchise was nothing short of spectacular, creating and celebrating a culture of success with six division titles, an American League pennant, and its first-ever World Series title,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler in a statement. “More impactfully, his leadership, integrity, and character are unparalleled in our game, making him the perfect fit for the USA Baseball family.”

The Olympic tournament will take place from July 28-Aug. 7 in Fukushima City and Yokohama.

Hosts Japan, Israel, South Korea, and Mexico have already secured a berth in the six-team field.

 

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Toby Davis)

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