It’s been a tough trip thus far for the Ducks, who dropped their second consecutive road contest tonight at the Bell Centre. After letting a two-goal lead slip away two nights ago in Toronto, the Ducks found themselves down early in an eventual 4-1 defeat in Montreal.
Fortunately, they’ll have a chance to bounce back tomorrow night in Ottawa in the second of back-to-backs.
"We didn’t play fast, and we didn’t play our game," said Patrick Maroon, who scored the lone goal for Anaheim. "We turned a lot of pucks over tonight, which created their offense. We took a lot of penalties and shot ourselves in the foot at the beginning of the game. You’re not going to get any momentum out of that. That’s one area we need to clean up. We’ve got a game tomorrow to fix that. We need to play hard tomorrow."
The game marked only the second time Saku Koivu played in Montreal since signing as a free agent with the Ducks on July 8, 2009. Koivu, who played each of his first 13 NHL seasons in a Montreal uniform, and served as the team’s captain for 10 of those years, was greeted to a loud ovation before the game, and once more during the final minute of play.
The Ducks fell behind early when Michael Bournival redirected a point shot off the stick of rookie defenseman Nathan Beaulieu at the 11:39 mark of the first period. Then, just 4:53 later, Tomas Plekanec would score his fifth goal of the season to put the Canadiens up 2-0.
The outcome could’ve been different had Andrew Cogliano’s one-timer at the 7:10 mark of the first period gone an inch or two lower, in what was still a scoreless game up to that point. His shot ended up hitting the crossbar and sailing out of play.
Montreal would increase its lead to 3-0 on a power-play goal from Brian Gionta, just 42 seconds into Mathieu Perreault’s boarding penalty at 11:07 of the second period.
Maroon would spoil Carey Price’s shutout bid by finishing a pretty two-on-one pass from Nick Bonino. The goal was Maroon’s first of the season, and third of his career, in his 22nd NHL game.
Rene Bourque put the game out of reach when he slipped a backhander through the legs of Jonas Hiller, on the power play, with 7:21 remaining in regulation to put the Canadiens up 4-1.
Hiller stopped 21-of-25 shots in the loss.
The Ducks will take on the Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre on Friday night, in Jakob Silfverberg’s first game in Ottawa since being acquired by Anaheim in July.