About Last Night: Anderson, Monahan, Pearson end their droughts

Josh Anderson scored an empty netter for his first of the season in a 4-2 win over the Kraken.

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Three long-suffering Montreal Canadiens forwards ended their goalless droughts in a 4-2 win for the Habs over the Seattle Kraken at the Bell Centre on Monday.

Josh Anderson’s empty netter was his first in 25 games this season. Sean Monahan scored twice to end a 15-game slump, while Tanner Pearson scored for the first time in 19 games.

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Brendan Gallagher had an assist playing in his 700th career game. All with the Canadiens, of course.

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Sam Montembeault started in goal and made 31 saves.

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All the talk early on was about Juraj Slafkovsky moving to the top line with Nick Suzuki and November Molson Cup winner Cole Caufield. Although they were held off the scoresheet at even-strength, they showed enough chemistry to warrant another audition.

Monahan scored the lone goal in the first period, after Anderson passed up a scoring chance for Monahan’s surer bet in the open net.

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In the second, it was Pearson’s turn. Gallagher deflected the puck in front and Pearson was in the right place in front to pounce. 2-0 Habs.

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The Habs then made it 3-0 with a power play goal. Suzuki and Caufield had a nice give-and-go before Suzuki found the bumper Monahan for the one-timer. 3-0 Habs.

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The Kraken got on the board in the second after a three-minute shift for the Christian Dvorak line. A desperation icing by Gallagher didn’t work, and Jared McCann finally put the tired Habs line out of its misery. It was 3-1 Habs after 40 minutes.

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All Seattle in the late second and early third. With Mike Matheson in the box for a second time, Vince Dunn blasted one from the point past Montembeault to pull the Kraken to within one.

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Montreal hung on, barely, and Anderson was rewarded with a shot from his own end into the empty net on the other side for his first of the season.

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Coach Martin St. Louis switched up the lines for last night’s game, and the four trios had their moments. All 10 of the points given to the Habs were awarded to forwards, which is a change of pace from the usual with the defencemen making an outsized contribution on offence.

It should be said these are not the Seattle Kraken of a year ago, who surprised the league en route to their first playoff run as a franchise. They’re now losers of five straight, and it was the Canadiens who early won the types of puck battles the tenacious Kraken forwards excelled at a year ago. Montreal didn’t play a clean 60 minutes, but they built up enough of a lead and Montembeault handled the rest.

The liveblog commenters were happy to see Anderson finally get the monkey off his back. Here’s hoping for his sake the goal will open the floodgates and get him back to a 20-goal pace.

3. “A well played game by the Canadiens, and I think we can call Montembeault our No. 1 goalie. Great for Anderson, and this was a team effort all around.” — Ryan Katz

2. “We started great, let them back in it but hung on and we are back at .500.” — Bob Taylor

1. “Sammy earning his contract.” — Tom Xenn

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