Canadiens vs. Oilers: Jordan Harris scores twice as Montreal routs Edmonton
MONTREAL. The Montreal Canadiens put on a show to young crowds at Sunday’s Super Bowl matinee, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 6-2 at the Bell Center.
Jordan Harris scored two goals and Jonathan Drouin provided two assists to lead the charge. Jake Allen held his own against Connor McDavid and company, making 29 saves for the win.
For the Oilers, Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane scored, while Evan Bouchard folded with a couple of assistants from the blue line. Stuart Skinner conceded six goals on 30 shots in the loss.
It’s unlikely that the heroes are scoring goals again
After their top scorer Cole Cofield suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in late January, the Canadiens had to figure out where they would score goals from without their star shooter.
Since then, several more obscure names have taken part in Montreal, and Sunday’s victory was a prime example. Defenseman Jordan Harris, who came into the game with just two goals in his career, doubled his career total with a pair against the Oilers, including a great solo kick in Game 2.
Alex Belzile, drafted from the AHL’s Laval Rocket, scored his first NHL goal in his 19th career game at the age of 31. his eighth goal of the season and his 200th career point.
In the meantime, standout newcomer Rafael Harvey-Pinard has continued to score points fast since being called up to a big club, scoring his sixth goal in the ninth game of the season.
McDavid’s streak ends
Coming into Sunday’s competition, Connor McDavid was as hot as ever, scoring at least a point in 15 consecutive games.
The Canadiens refused to be another victim of the phenomenon by preventing the Oilers captain from scoring a goal. In a team-record time on the ice of 23:51, McDavid was minus 3 and, despite a whopping seven shots into the net, failed to tackle Jake Allen.
However, in true McJesus style, he came painfully close to scoring another goal.
Canadiens are deadly on special teams
Montreal are one of the worst teams in the league, and one of the reasons why they are so low in the standings is their poor performance on both power plays and penalties. They rank last in the NHL in powerplay efficiency (15.4%) and third when losing to a human (72.5%).
Uncharacteristically, the Hubs did most of the damage to the Oilers with their special teams, scoring two powerplay goals and even scoring a shorthand. They also held off Edmonton – the league’s best team in numbers – with just one goal in six opportunities, including a huge 5-on-3 loss in the second period (Evander Kane scored right after the second penalty ended).
Habs trade assets, increasing their shares
It’s no secret that the Canadiens are set to be sellers by the deadline as the 2022-23 campaign promises to be another recovery year for general manager Kent Hughes.
Montreal has a number of intriguing names to deal with by the deadline, with several players becoming unrestricted free agents at the end of the year. Of these names, Jonathan Drouin and Evgeny Dadonov played especially well, providing three assists for two. Josh Anderson and Joel Armia – both on contracts for a few more years but growing in interest as the trade deadline approaches – also scored and assisted, respectively.
Whether teams will find such a small sample size worthy of a deadline flyer remains to be discussed, but at least the players are making it easy for their bosses to find a new home on March 3rd.
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