In the Room of the Habs: Cayden Primeau shines, but frustrations increase

Goalkeeper makes some big savings, but moods flare near the end of a 3-2 loss to the Rangers as the Habs fall to 4-12-2 on the season.

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It was fitting that Cayden Primeau was named the third star because he was the best thing the Canadiens had for them in a 3-2 loss against the New York Rangers on Tuesday evening at Madison Square.
Garden.

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Primeau, who made his season debut with the Canadiens, stopped 31 of 34 shots and there was a defensive collapse on each of the three Rangers goals.

“He was solid, he made some great savings,” coach Dominique Ducharme said.

Primeau was recalled from Laval on Sunday after Jake Allen suffered a concussion Saturday in Detroit and he got the nod in New York City over Samuel Montembeault, who was struggling in the backup role.

Ducharme noted that Primeau has some experience in the NHL and it will be interesting to see if he gets another start Thursday when the Canadiens return to the Bell Center to play the Pittsburgh Penguins. (7 pm, TSN2, RDS, TSN-690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

The Canadiens played a comeback for most of the game after Kaapo Kakko scored in the first period in a play that featured three Canadiens around the crease as spectators while Kakko teis it.

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The Canadiens tied the score early in the second period when Christian Dvorak scored for the first time in 12 games, but the Rangers regained the lead 1:33 later when Mika Zibanejad set up Chris Kreider on a 3-on-2 rush.

Among the goals, there was a fight involving Michael Pezzetta and Ryan Reaves, who is the NHL’s unofficial heavyweight champion. Reaves won the fight on TKO, but Ducharme rejected a suggestion that the patch provided the guards with an elevator.

“We played better in the second period and (Pezzetta) wanted to bring some energy to the team and I don’t think it affected us on (their) second goal,” Ducharme said. “We rushed, we got a shot and the bounce landed in a good place for them. They quickly jumped into the offense (and) they made a good ludback post.”

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It took a perfect stitch pass from Zibanejad to set up Kreider for his 12th goal, but at the same time, Jeff Petry was indecisive about the play and was a step behind Kreider.

Jonathan Drouin returned to the lineup after missing six games with a head injury and he played a role in the top two lines showing some life after being shut out in the first two games on this road trip. He had four shots on goal and was a plus-1.

Dvorak had a goal and assisted on Josh Anderson’s third-period goal, but he had a rare bad gam in the front row, winning just seven of 20 draws for a 35 percent success rate.

“I thought Dvorak’s line played well and (Nick) Suzuki’s line was a little up and down,” Ducharme said.

Suzuki was up in the fight circle, where he won 11 of 16, but down in most other places. He had one shot on goal and was on the ice for all three guard goals. He lost the hockey puck on what proved to be Julien Gauthier’s winning goal early in the third period.

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The Canadiens ’frustration was evident in the withering minutes of the game. Brendan Gallagher punched Barclay Goodrow from the front and received a minor penalty and a 10-minute misconduct. Anderson exchanged punches with Jacob Trouba when the game ended.

If you follow a track, the Canadiens fell to 4-12-2. They are six points behind six-time Buffalo in the Atlantic Division and the Sabers have three games in hand.

phickey@postmedia.com

twitter.com/zababes1

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