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Canadiens 3, Golden Knights 2: 3 Takeaways

Golden Knights finish road trip at 1-4-1; now 9-5-1 for the season.

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

Burn the tape.

In hockey terms, this is how you would describe the Golden Knights' 3-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

Playing the final game of a season-long, six-game road trip, Vegas just couldn't get on track in this one. And for a team which has played pretty well overall -even when it has lost - the manner that Tuesday's game went was pretty uncharacteristic for the Golden Knights.

So burn the tape, move on to the next one. That will be Friday, when the Winnipeg Jets visit T-Mobile Arena.

In the meantime, here are three immediate takeaways from tonight's game against the Canadiens.

1. Time To Go Home
Two weeks and thousands of miles later, it's time to go home. For the Golden Knights, this couldn't come soon enough.
Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, 11 days since leaving Las Vegas, the Golden Knights played like a team that was fatigued and feeling the effects of the road.
The Canadiens were pretty much in control all night, with Brendan Gallagher and Jordie Benn goals 2:31 apart in the first period giving Montreal a 2-0 edge before Vegas even had two shots.

There was a brief period of time after Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored with 2:19 remaining in the first period that Vegas looked like it could get back in the game.

It just never did, although a late goal by Erik Haula made the game's final minute interesting.

Vegas deserves credit for being stubborn and not going away on a night it was outplayed.

But as a whole, this was one of those games where the Golden Knights just couldn't get going. And on the final day of a road trip, a return home - where Vegas is 6-1-0 - couldn't come sooner.
2. Didn't Test Lindgren
Heading into tonight, Canadiens goalie Charlie Lindgren had only started four games in his career. Although he's won them all over the past three seasons, he's hardly an established goalie.

When dealing with a goalie as inexperienced as Lindgren, a recipe for success is to make him stop the puck. When in doubt, shoot.

Despite turning it on a bit after the first period by getting 28 shots over the final two periods the Golden Knights didn't make life difficult enough for Lindgren. They rarely got screens, couldn't get him to have to make saves while moving side to side, and just didn't do enough to test their young opponent.

A lot of this is a credit to Montreal's defense, which stepped up big time with star Carey Price on the shelf.

Although the Golden Knights buckled down after the first period - similar to Monday in Toronto - Maxime Lagace was just hung out to dry a bit too often in this one. He was by no means perfect, but he just didn't have a chance a lot of the time. And to his credit, made a lot of Grade A saves.
It just wasn't enough to steal this one for Vegas.

3. Bellemare's Highlight-Reel Goal

On a night Vegas was outplayed, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare's first-period goal was wasted. Although, to be fair, it was still a thing of beauty.

Never having scored more than seven goals in any of his three NHL seasons (all with Philadelphia), Bellemare isn't thought of as having this kind of finesse.

But for a player who has grinded it out all year, mostly centering a line with Tomas Nosek and William Carrier, it was a nice reward.

Bellemare is well-respected by his teammates and management for his thoughtful, professional approach to the game.
Tonight, he earned a bit of respect for scoring maybe the prettiest goal of his NHL career.
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