Charlie Lindgren's win streak snapped as Canadiens fall to Minnesota
The bottom line: Charlie Lindgren’s unbeaten string in the NHL had to to come to an end at some point, but the 23-year-old goaltender did everything he could to give the Canadiens a chance to win against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night at the Bell Centre. He engaged in an old-fashioned goaltending duel with two-time Vézina Trophy finalist Devan Dubnyk before dropping a 3-0 decision.
The game turned when Jonas Brodin blocked a shot by Max Pacioretty on a power play early in the third period. Mikael Granlund pushed the loose puck ahead to Jason Zucker, who went to his backhand for a short-handed goal. Zucker scored his second goal of the night with a deflection at 11:23 an completed the hat trick with an empty-netter for his eighth goal of the season. Lindgren, who lost for the first time in six NHL starts, made 32 saves. Dubnyk made 41 stops and preserved his shutout when Charles Hudon’s goal with five minutes left in the third period was judged to have been goaltender interference.
Drouin, Weber out: Shortly before the pre-game warm-up, the Canadiens announced that top centre Jonathan Drouin and No. 1 defenceman Shea Weber would not be dressed. Drouin’s absence wasn’t a surprise. He missed the third period of Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights with an upper-body injury. When he missed practice Wednesday, coach Claude Julien said there was only a 50-50 chance he would play. Weber’s lower-body injury was a bit of a surprise. He practised Wednesday, but did not participate in Thursday’s morning skate. Brandon Davidson filled in on defence, while Byron Froese made his first appearance in a Canadiens’ uniform.