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VGK@MTL: Don't bet against red

Lindgren makes 29 saves, Habs extend win streak to three against upstart Golden Knights in Montreal

by Steven Nechay @CanadiensMTL /

MONTREAL -- Following a slow start to the season, these days the Habs are making it tough to bet against red.

For a team that originally went 1-6-1 in its first eight, the Canadiens are now 5-2-0 in their last seven, with no signs of slowing down.

Not to mention they pulled an ace out of their sleeves just in time to host the newcomers from Sin City.

Video: VGK@MTL: Lindgren stretches for fantastic pad save

"Charlie [Lindgren] just continues to be himself," underlined Brendan Gallagher, who opened the scoring with his seventh of the season at 8:24 in the first. "He just continues to not be fazed by anything. We trust him when he's in there. He makes timely saves at timely parts of the game, and he's definitely a key part of the win."

Case in point, the 23-year-old set the tone early -- despite being tested just twice in the opening frame -- with a big save on James Neal at 4:43 in the first.

"That save on Neal tonight, and that save on [Jonathan] Toews last game -- both in the first period, both in 0-0 games -- jumpstarted our team," added captain Max Pacioretty, who scored the game-winner at 3:31 in the second, extending his point-streak to six games. "That momentum was gained through Charlie's hard work and his big saves."

Video: VGK@MTL: Lindgren comes up with big save on Neal

On Tuesday, Lindgren made 29 saves, although none were bigger than those in the game's dying moments -- while the Habs were hanging on to a 3-2 lead, and Vegas had the extra attacker.

"It was wild. We knew coming in that Vegas is a blue-collar team. They don't give up, and we saw that tonight," admitted Lindgren. "We knew they would come, and they definitely did. They threw everything at the net in the last few minutes there, so I thought our forwards and defensemen did a great job tonight, too. They really helped me out, and it was big to get the two points."

Make that four points, now that Lindgren has followed up on the Habs' first win in Chicago in 15 years, with the team's first franchise win against a Vegas club which has looked surprising early on.

Not to mention -- speaking of firsts -- playing his first game at the Bell Centre in front of a full house.

"It was unreal. The Bell Centre... that's where you want to play," continued the Lakeville, MN native. "It was absolutely incredible. The fans [here] are the best in the league, so it was a blast."

Video: Charlie Lindgren on his first game in Montreal

A first loss, meanwhile, has not been in the cards for the former St. Cloud State product, who now becomes just the third Habs netminder to begin his NHL career 5-0-0, after Ken Dryden and Wayne Thomas.

"It feels awesome. I mean that's obviously the way you want to start -- through five games you want to win all five," concluded Lindgren. "It's been a heck of a start. It's been fun."

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