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Canadiens fail to slam the door and let one slip away in Vancouver

Canucks forward Bo Horvat and Canadiens goalie Carey Price track a rebound during third-period action Monday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Canucks forward Bo Horvat and Canadiens goalie Carey Price track a rebound during third-period action Monday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

The Canadiens are still looking for their first win in extra time after losing 2-1 in a shootout to the Vancouver Canucks Monday night at Rogers Arena.

After giving up a power-play goal early in the game, Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko kept the Canadiens at bay long enough for Adam Gaudette to tie the game with 40.5 seconds remaining in regulation time.

Bo Horvat scored the only goal in the shootout as the Canadiens  are now 0-for-7 when the game goes beyond regulation. They are 0-for-4 in 3-on-3 action and 0-for-3 in shootouts.

Both teams appeared tentative in the overtime and the Canucks had the two best scoring chances. Midway through the extra period, Brock Boeser came from behind the net and tried to slip the puck into the short side, but Carey Price sprawled and got his glove on the puck. Later in the overtime, J.T.  Miller rang a shot off the post.

The game matched two goaltenders who have been on a roll recently.

Price, who has been under the spotlight because of his inconsistent play, is now 2-0-1 in his last three starts and has allowed only one goal in each of those games.

Demko came into this contest on a three-game winning streak and he has allowed only now four goals in his last four starts. He was named the NHL’s second star of the week after posting back-to-back wins over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Price had some luck on his side midway through the third period when Jayce Hawryluk’s shot was deflected off the post.

The most dramatic improvement in the Canadiens’ game since the coaching change has been on the power play, with assistant coach Alex Burrows making adjustments in both the personnel and strategy.

The Montreal power play produced the first goal of the game when Jeff Petry scored at 4:37 of the first period with a  shot from the point. Corey Perry didn’t earn a mention on the scoresheet, but he played a crucial role on the goal when he screened Demko.

Petry, who made a good play to keep the puck in the Vancouver zone early in the  shift, leads all NHL defencemen with nine goals, including four on the power play.

The other Montreal special team, the penalty-kill, came up big in the late stage of the period when the Canadiens were short two men for 1:24. After Perry took a tripping penalty, Paul Byron had a short-handed opportunity, but he lost control and made contact with Demko. He tried to avoid a collision by jumping over Demko, but was  penalized for goaltender interference. Vancouver failed to get a shot on goal with the two-man advantage.

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