Canadiens beat Predators 4-3 after honoring Subban

Jan 12, 2023, 5:27 AM | Updated: 8:52 pm
Montreal Canadiens' Jake Evans, right, hits the goalpost behind Nashville Predators goaltender Yaro...

Montreal Canadiens' Jake Evans, right, hits the goalpost behind Nashville Predators goaltender Yaroslav Askarov with the puck during second-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

              Former Montreal Canadiens P.K. Subban addresses the crowd during a ceremony before an NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators in Montreal, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Former Montreal Canadiens P.K. Subban salutes the crowd as he is introduced during a ceremony before an NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators in Montreal, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Montreal Canadiens' Kirby Dach scores past Nashville Predators goaltender Yaroslav Askarov as Predators' Ryan Johansen looks on during first-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Nashville Predators goaltender Yaroslav Askarov makes a save as Montreal Canadiens' Jonathan Drouin looks for the rebound during second-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Nashville Predators' Filip Forsberg, left, reaches out to Montreal Canadiens' David Savard during first-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Montreal Canadiens' Cole Caufield (22) is taken out in front of Nashville Predators goaltender Yaroslav Askarov, left, by Predators defenseman Ryan McDonagh, top right, during first-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Montreal Canadiens' Josh Anderson slips between Nashville Predators' Ryan Johansen, left, and Cole Smith during first-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Nashville Predators' Colton Sissons, top right, hits the goalpost behind Montreal Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault (35) with the puck during second-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Nashville Predators' Cole Smith (36) falls to the ice as Montreal Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault (35) makes a stop during third-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Montreal Canadiens' Cole Caufield celebrates after his goal against the Nashville Predators during second-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Montreal Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault, right, David Savard, left, and Nick Suzuki (14) celebrate after a victory over the Nashville Predators in NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Montreal Canadiens' Jake Evans, right, hits the goalpost behind Nashville Predators goaltender Yaroslav Askarov with the puck during second-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

MONTREAL (AP) — Cole Caufield scored two power-play goals and the Montreal Canadiens held off the Nashville Predators 4-3 on Thursday night after honoring former defenseman P.K. Subban in a pregame ceremony.

“I think our special teams was a pretty big deal,” Caufield said. “Penalty kill and power play, we’re trying to get in the right direction with those categories but it sure is a big step for us and we’re trying to keep that going.”

Kirby Dach added a goal and an assist for Montreal, Jake Evans also scored and Jonathan Drouin had three assists. Samuel Montembeault stopped 39 shots.

Nino Niederreiter, Filip Forsberg and Juuso Parssinen scored for Nashville. Yaroslav Askarov made 31 saves in his NHL debut.

“First game in the NHL. Awesome, awesome,” Askarov said. “Yes, we lose but I will remember this game forever.”

Midway through the second period, Nick Suzuki sent a cross-ice pass to Caufield for a goal that gave Montreal a 3-2 lead. Caufield struck again at 6:15 of the third, scoring on a one-timer off a pass from Dach.

The Predators pulled Askarov with just under three minutes remaining, and Parssinen scored with 1:29 left on a slap shot.

Nashville coach John Hynes said his team gave “40 minutes” of effort, starting in the second period.

“Both teams had to be ready for it,” Hynes said about staying focused during Subban’s ceremony. “They were ready for it, we weren’t.”

HONORING SUBBAN

Subban played his first seven full NHL seasons with the Canadiens, winning the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman in 2012-13, and also played for the Predators and New Jersey.

He addressed the crowd and was met with a standing ovation.

“It’s always an emotional time and the respect is overwhelming,” said Subban, who retired after last season. “Everybody wants to be respected but when it’s like that, you never really know how to handle it. I just tried to take it in stride and be appreciative of the fact that I played here.”

UP NEXT

Predators: Host Buffalo on Saturday night.

Canadiens: At New York Islanders on Saturday night.

___

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Canadiens beat Predators 4-3 after honoring Subban