The Montreal Canadiens took a big win on the road at T-Mobile Arena, frustrating the Vegas Golden Knights and pushing the team to the brink of elimination in a 4-1 win Tuesday night.
Montreal was smothering from the opening puck drop, negating the Vegas forecheck and preventing the Golden Knights from generating much on the offensive side of the puck.
“We didn’t play our game at all, we played right into their game,” said defenseman Brayden McNabb.
Nicolas Roy echoed those sentiments, noting that the forecheck was unable to get things going across the board.
“We’ve got to be way better,” said Roy. “We know we can. I don’t think we did that tonight. We will refocus and be ready for the next game.”
Alex Pietrangelo was clearly frustrated after the loss, logging a team-leading 26:06 TOI with four shots and four takeaways. He bristled at the very first question regarding the loss and jumped ahead to Game Six in Montreal.
“You guys (the media) can say what you want… I’ve said it all series long, you play seven games for a reason. We’re going to Montreal… we’ve got a job to do and we’re going to get it done in a couple of days.”
The Golden Knights fans were certainly upset, booing the team at the end of the second period.
“Maybe we deserved it,” said McNabb of the booing. “We got out-worked from puck drop. Our fans are great and we love our fans. They were as frustrated as we were. They (Montreal) clogged the middle, clogged the neutral zone… we’ve got to do a better job getting pucks in. We need to do more of that.”
Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 22 saves in the loss while Carey Price stopped 26 for the win.
“Obviously we’re not where we want to be,” said Fleury. “I don’t think there’s any panic. We all wanted to do better tonight. Tomorrow is a new day and we’ll get the next one in Montreal.”
After the game head coach Pete DeBoer acknowledged the team played poorly and made no excuses.
“You can point to a lot of things but they traveled just like we did,” said DeBoer. “There shouldn’t be any fatigue, any excuses. We weren’t sharp in execution, in our decisions and it costs us.”
When asked about Max Pacioretty finally netting his first goal of the series while Mark Stone remains pointless, DeBoer said he expects his team to get through it and make it work.
“We’ve gotta find a way this time of year against good teams and against pressure and against attention and against a good goalie. Those are the teams that end up standing at the end of the day.”
And when it comes to Montreal frustrating the Golden Knights?
“They’re a good team doing some good things. We’ve gotta find some answers. It was an off night by everybody.”