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Sean Monahan scores twice as Montreal Canadiens hold off Seattle 4-2

Montreal Canadiens' Josh Anderson (17) celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Seattle Kraken during third period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Monday, December 4, 2023. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes) Montreal Canadiens' Josh Anderson (17) celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Seattle Kraken during third period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Monday, December 4, 2023. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
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Sean Monahan scored twice and Josh Anderson broke a 27-game goal drought dating to last season with an empty-netter that sealed the Montreal Canadiens' 4-2 win over the Seattle Kraken on Monday night.

With Montreal up 3-2 and Seattle pressing, Anderson floated the puck from his own zone and into the Kraken's net with 32 seconds left.

He said he focused on getting back to the basics instead of worrying about his drought in the past couple of weeks.

"I just said, 'You've got to get back to the way you're playing; you're in this league for a reason,"' he said. "Just go out there and do your thing, don't focus about scoring, and just try to get back to your game and things will take care of themselves."

Tanner Pearson also had a goal for Montreal (11-11-3), which won its first game at home since Nov. 11.

Samuel Montembeault made 31 saves in his first start since signing a three-year, $9.45 million contract extension with the Canadiens.

He looked sharp early and robbed Kraken forward Alex Wennberg on two occasions with left-pad saves on the doorstep.

"There were a lot of distractions the last couple days, a lot of messages, so I wanted to put that behind me quickly," said Montembeault. "My legs felt good tonight."

Vince Dunn scored with a goal and an assist, and Jared McCann scored for Seattle (8-12-6), which lost its fifth straight game.

Philipp Grubauer stopped 26 shots.

Monahan opened the scoring at 4:03 of the first period after Jake Evans forced a turnover.

Pearson doubled Montreal's lead 3:12 into the second period by burying a rebound.

Monahan scored his second on the power play to make it 3-0 at 6:58 of the second.

He had gone 14 games without scoring but was focused on Anderson.

"The guys are happy for Andy, he's been through some tough times to start here," said Monahan. "You get a win on home ice, he gets his first and yeah, it feels good."

Seattle cut into the deficit as McCann fired a wrist shot past Montembeault at 14:05 of the second for his team-leading 12th goal.

Dunn brought the Kraken to within one with a slap shot over Montembeault's right shoulder on the power play 4:49 into the third, but Seattle heads home from a four-game road trip without a point.

"It's really unacceptable to come out with nothing," Dunn said. "We see how well we can play so maybe we (can look at that) and understand how close we are, but being close doesn't cut it, it doesn't win you games, it needs to be complete and it's definitely not even close to that right now."

Veteran forward Brendan Gallagher played in his 700th NHL game, all with the Canadiens.

Montreal drafted Gallagher in the fifth round, 147th overall, in the 2010 draft.

He has 207 goals and 198 assists and is the 27th player to reach the 700-game milestone in franchise history.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Dec. 5, 2023. 

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