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Canadiens hang on to edge visiting Blackhawks

Sean Monahan had a goal and an assist and the Montreal Canadiens held on for a 3-2 win against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.

Cole Caufield and Tanner Pearson also scored and Sam Montembeault made 28 saves for Montreal in its home opener.

Tyler Johnson scored two goals and Petr Mrazek made 33 saves for the Blackhawks, who have lost two in a row following a season-opening 4-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

Johnson scored his second goal with 1:21 left and Mrazek pulled for the extra attacker to cut the lead to 3-2.

Connor Bedard, the highly touted No. 1 overall pick by Chicago in the 2023 NHL Draft, drew a double-minor high-sticking penalty with 22 seconds left, but the Blackhawks could not score the tying goal.

Bedard assisted on Johnson’s second goal, giving him a goal and two assists in his first three NHL games.

After a scoreless first period, the Canadiens scored three times in the second.

Caufield drove to the net and squeezed the puck between Mrazek’s right shoulder and the left post with a backhand from in close, giving Montreal a 1-0 lead at 3:54.

Pearson made it 2-0 at 7:56 when he hit the top left corner of the net from just above the left circle.

Rafael Harvey-Pinard was turned away by Mrazek on a short-handed breakaway, but Monahan scored on the next Chicago power play to extend the lead to 3-0 at 17:38.

Chicago went 0-for-7 on the power play to fall to 0-for-14 on the season.

The Blackhawks scored 35 seconds into the third period to trim the lead to 3-1.

Seth Jones took a shot that was blocked by Kaiden Guhle, but the rebound came to Johnson, who scored.

Mrazek made four saves during an early power play by the Canadiens.

Chicago had a 5-on-3 for 45 seconds later in the first period, but couldn’t capitalize.

Montreal center Kirby Dach left the game with a lower-body injury in the first period after a hard check by Jarred Tinordi sent him into the Chicago bench.

–Field Level Media

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