TORONTO - The Canadiens suffered a 5-2 loss to the Maple Leafs on Thursday night at Scotiabank Arena.
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Following the game, defenseman Ben Chiarot, forward Tomas Tatar, goaltender Jake Allen and interim head coach Dominique Ducharme spoke with reporters via Zoom.
Here are a few highlights from their respective chats:
Chiarot on a tough first period:
They just jumped all over us. We were slow out of the gate, they came out pretty quick and we spotted them a few goals. It's an uphill battle from there. On a back-to-back, that's not easy.
Video: Ben Chiarot on Toronto's strong start
Chiarot on goaltender Cayden Primeau's performance:
That's not his fault. It's our fault. We were flat in front of him. We didn't give him any help. When you have a young goalie going in there, we have to be sharp, especially early on, and let him find his groove. We didn't do that. That was on us, not him.
Tatar on the Canadiens' slow starts lately:
Honestly, those back-to-backs are not easy, especially at this time of the year. It's game after game. I'm sure everybody felt it a little bit. It's not an excuse. We have to work on it. We'll be talking about it. It's something we need to change. We need to be more prepared. It doesn't help us when we're down a goal right away and end the period down 4-0.
Video: Tomas Tatar on his first game back from injury
Tatar on the team's lack of consistency:
When I was watching the guys over that big stretch of three games, it was very fun to watch. We were moving pucks very well. It was a rough game in Ottawa. Playing back-to-back, it's very hard. We'll come out strong on Saturday and it's going to be a different game. We'll do everything we can to get the two points.
Allen on his postgame conversation with Primeau:
I talked to him in the dressing room, just me and him. It's a bump in the road for him. I can tell how good of a goalie he is, how good of a kid he is. Once Pricer's legacy goes on, this guy's going to be the guy here. You've got to fail to succeed in anything. I think that's the way I look at it. You've got to fail to succeed in this League, especially as a goalie. It's just a bump in the road for him. It's unfortunate. I'm sure he's going to take it hard, like all young guys do, and I would've done the same thing. But, he's going to move on, get back and be ready to go for us. We're going to need him again.
Video: Jake Allen on his encouragement for Cayden Primeau
Allen on whether this defeat hurt the group mentally, given the possibility of playing the Maple Leafs in the postseason:
I don't think so, no. I just think it's 20 bad minutes. That's the way I look at it. Every team has bad periods and we just had one. They're a team that when you have a bad period, they can make you pay. That's why they're on top of our division right now. They've got some firepower and speed and they always come out hard. We've got to take our heads out of our butts here for the next game and be ready to rock.
Ducharme on an opening frame to forget:
We gave up three goals in the first 10 minutes. It wasn't any easier in the 10 minutes after that. We were better in the second and third. The game was decided in the first period.
Video: Dominique Ducharme on the loss to the Leafs
Ducharme on replacing Primeau with Allen to start the second period:
I didn't want to get Jake in there in the middle of a period. We already have Carey who's injured. I didn't want Jake to come into the game when he wasn't really warmed up. We didn't want him to get injured and then we'd be in a situation where two goaltenders are out. I'd already made my decision, but I wanted to wait until the end of the first period to give Jake some time to prepare.