In the Habs' Room: Pens peppered Allen, but netminder was counting the win, not saves

He hopes it serves as a turning point after team was 'down in the dumps a bit.'

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PITTSBURGH — Jake Allen says he doesn’t pay attention to the number of shots he faces in a game and it wasn’t until the Canadiens wrapped up their 6-3 win over the Penguins on Saturday that he learned he had made 47 saves.


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“I just heard in the dressing room,” Allen said. “I’ve never watched the shots ever since I turned pro. I think it’s a thing where goalies look up and see they gave up three goals on seven shots and they’re screwed the rest of the game.”

Allen gave up three goals on 50 shots, but two of them came in the final 2:37 as the Penguins desperately tried to get back into the game. Pittsburgh got goals from Jeff Carter and Sidney Crosby, but the Canadiens countered with three empty-net goals — two by Josh Anderson and one by Tyler Toffoli.

Allen said he hoped the win serves as a turning point for the Canadiens, who improved to 6-15-2 on the season.

“We’ve been down in the dumps a bit,” Allen said. “We haven’t been playing our best hockey and I thought it was an important game for us, to play with a lot of effort and, obviously, it was most important to get the win, have a day off tomorrow and then come back home for a couple of games and string together some good hockey.

“I thought there was a lot more commitment to detail, blocking shots, changing at the right time, playing collectively as a group,” Allen said. “It was a lot better tonight than it was in Buffalo. We still have a way to go, but it’s important in these weeks before Christmas to string together some good hockey. It’s not going to happen overnight. We’re not going every night, but we need to come in and expect to play our best.”

The Canadiens managed to limit their mistakes and Jonathan Drouin took advantage of a Pittsburgh turnover to score on a breakaway for the only goal in the first two periods.


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“Crosby made a play and (Kris) Letang mishandled it and I got a good bounce off the turnover,” Drouin said.

Pittsburgh tied it up early in the third, but Christian Dvorak scored 33 seconds later to restore the Montreal lead.

“You cannot always respond with a goal, but you can have a good shift and come back right away,” said coach Dominique Ducharme. “Getting rewarded with a goal is huge.”

In off-ice news, Scott Melllanby, the Canadiens’ assistant general manager, has resigned. Mellanby was reportedly in talks with team owner Geoff Molson about replacing Marc Bergevin as general manager or taking another senior role, but Molson ended the discussion on Friday and Mellanby resigned Saturday. While losing Mellanby is another example of how dysfunctional this organization has become, it’s an encouraging sign if Molslon was, indeed, contemplating a non-francophone for the GM role.

Allen, who had dealings with Mellanby when they were both with the St. Louis Blues organization, said he had a lot of respect for Mellanby and he’s sure Mellanby will find employment elsewhere. He said the players try to block out the comings and goings in in the front office and concentrate on hockey.

The Canadiens return to the Bell Centre on Monday to play the Vancouver Canucks, a team whose record is only slightly better than the Canadiens. The Colorado Avalanche are in Montreal on Thursday and the Canadiens finish the week in Nashville, which isn’t nearly as much fun because the COVID-19 protocol means the players can’t hang out in Tootsies on Friday.

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    Canadiens turn tables on Penguins with convincing 6-3 win

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