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NSH@MTL: Postgame

Habs can't overcome four-goal deficit, fall to Preds on Country Night at the Bell Centre

by Dan Braverman @CanadiensMTL /

MONTREAL - The Canadiens dug themselves a 4-0 hole they couldn't climb out of, falling 4-2 to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

It was the first game back at the Bell Centre since Henri Richard passed away, and the Canadiens paid tribute to the legendary former captain and 11-time Stanley Cup winner prior to puck drop.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Regardez la c��r��monie compl��te en hommage �� Henri Richard.Watch the full pregame ceremony honoring Henri Richard.#MerciHenri

It was also Country Night presented by LASSO Montreal at the Bell Centre, to mark the upcoming first-ever country music festival in Montreal which takes place on August 14-15 at Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Liv Price et les gar��ons Petry sont bien ��quip��s pour la Soir��e country. 🤠Liv Price and the Petry boys are definitely feeling it for Country Night.#GoHabsGo | @LassoMTL

Although it was the power play that Claude Julien was trying to jumpstart in the lead-up to Tuesday's game, it was the Canadiens' penalty kill that got put to the test in the first. Nashville had a pair of power play opportunities, but despite registering four shots on goal with the man advantage, the Preds couldn't convert on either Montreal penalty.

In fact, neither team would get on the board at all in the first, and they headed to the room locked in a scoreless tie with Nashville leading 14-7 in shots.

Ryan Johansen opened the scoring for the Predators just 51 seconds into the middle frame.

Just 2:06 later, Nashville doubled its lead when Calle Jarnkrok beat Carey Price right off the faceoff to make it 2-0.

With Joel Armia in the box for tripping, Filip Forsberg added a third one for the Preds as the game approached the halfway mark.

Forsberg got his second of the night with exactly 4:00 remaining in the second.

After 40, Nashville was leading 4-0 and was ahead 32-21 in shots.

Artturi Lehkonen finally broke the ice for the Canadiens early in the third. After Xavier Ouellet took a shot from near the outside hashmarks, Lehkonen recovered the puck and jammed it past Nashville starter Juuse Saros to get the Habs on the board and break Saros' shutout streak that spanned more than 180 minutes.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Le 13e but de la saison de Lehky. Lehky's 13th of the season.#GoHabsGo

It was Lehkonen's 13th goal of the season, his second-highest total since he lit the lamp 18 times in his rookie season.

Ouellet and Nick Suzuki got assists on the goal.

The Habs cut the Predators' lead down to two with 11:20 left in regulation. From behind the net, Dale Weise fed Lukas Vejdemo in the slot to help the Swedish rookie pot his first career NHL goal.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Un premier but dans la LNH pour Lukas Vejdemo! 👏First NHL goal for Lukas Vejdemo!#GoHabsGo

This was Vejdemo's seventh game in the big leagues.

Weise and fellow rookie Jake Evans earned helpers on the momentous marker.

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