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Primeau’s strong effort a lone positive in Canadiens’ loss to Rangers – Sportsnet.ca

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It’s was a 14th loss in 18 games, and it was fully earned by the Montreal Canadiens.

But at least there was one positive: a stellar performance by goaltender Cayden Primeau.

The former seventh-round pick in 2017 was the only reason the Canadiens weren’t blown out of Madison Square Garden by the New York Rangers.

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On this night, just seven miles from Harlem, they made their counterparts look like the Globetrotters. Sweet Georgia Brown should’ve been playing throughout the game — especially during the first period — as the visitors team just watched the Blueshirts skate circles around their zone and create enough quality scoring chances to win by more than a three-pointer.

Instead, the Rangers barely skated away with a 3-2 win because Primeau stood tall from start to finish.

“He was good,” said Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme. “He was solid.”

Primeau was forced to be much better than that by a Canadiens team that was loose with the puck and inattentive in its coverage.

In the first period, he made two highlight saves on Filip Chytil and made 13 stops on 14 more shots. On Kappo Kakko’s opening goal, like Chris Kreider’s and Julien Gauthier’s after it, Primeau didn’t have a prayer.

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But there were plenty of other shots in this game where that appeared to be the case — none better than the one Ryan Strome took from the apex of the slot in the third period, with the Rangers up 2-1 and Canadiens defenceman Brett Kulak swimming on his belly near the crease, when Primeau lifted his glove up and snatched a goal away — and the 22-year-old came up big.

“The whole game, he was awesome,” said Jake Evans, who, along with a handful of other Canadiens players not named Primeau, put in a commendable effort from start to finish.

The goaltender didn’t get the result he deserved, but he did his job.

The Canadiens can take positives from it, and perhaps even some confidence if Primeau gets the nod again on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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But what Primeau takes from it is more important. Every game of experience he gets at this level brings him closer to his goal of one day becoming the starting goaltender for this franchise.

It’s a role the Vorhees, N.J., native has been dreaming of since the day he was drafted, but he had be feeling very far from it when the Canadiens picked up 25-year-old Samuel Montembeault before the season started. With Carey Price suddenly electing to check into the NHL/NHLPA’s players assistance program, the door appeared open for Primeau to back up Jake Allen, but it was quickly shut with this move.

Had Primeau had a stronger showing in training camp and pre-season, he would’ve walked right through it. But the decision was made to bring in someone else because his confidence didn’t appear to be there.

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It hadn’t been at this level dating back to when he debuted in 2019. In four games with the Canadiens last season, Primeau went 1-2-1 and had an .849 save percentage. He was playing when they desperately needed wins, when Price was hurt and Allen was exhausted and the team was life and death to make the playoffs.

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But Primeau couldn’t deliver the type of performance he put in on Tuesday.

The result might have been the same for him in this one, but the process appeared to be a big improvement.

Primeau told reporters at MSG it was good to see some shots early and often, good to come in and play fresh off a game on Saturday with the AHL’s Laval Rocket — he had waited quite some time after being recalled last season and that certainly contributed to how things went for him — and that he was just trying to keep things simple and not overcomplicate them.

He succeeded, thanks in part to the work he had put into “tracking,” and “skating,” in his words.

We’d suggest Primeau’s mindset had something to do with it, too, because it’s clear he felt he had dropped down the depth chart going to Laval while Montembeault took up residence in Montreal, and he approached Tuesday’s game as an opportunity to show he can play just as well — if not much better — at this level.

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“I think there’s a battle amongst all the goalies in the organization,” Primeau said. “That’s across the board everywhere. Even down in Laval, Michael (McNiven) and I have a great friendly competition and competitive edge to our relationship.”

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As Price gets himself closer and closer to playing — it’s expected he’ll hit the ice sometime before the end of the week for some solo work in Brossard — and Allen recovers from a concussion that could see him return soon, it’s likely Primeau goes back to the Rocket to resume that competition with McNiven.

But this game was good for his confidence. It was another building block on top of the solid start Primeau has gotten off to with the Rocket, and there might be a couple of more to pile on before he goes back.

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On a night where not much else of note happened, with the exception of Michael Pezzetta taking on the NHL’s heavyweight champ, Ryan Reaves, and Christian Dvorak scoring a goal and adding an assist after putting up just one goal and five points in the first 17 games and going the last five without any, this was a positive.





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How to watch Appalachian State vs. James Madison: NCAA Football live stream info, TV channel, time, game odds

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Who’s Playing

James Madison @ Appalachian State

Current Records: James Madison 2-0; Appalachian State 2-1

What to Know

The James Madison Dukes watched the action from their couches last weekend, but are set to take to the field. James Madison and the Appalachian State Mountaineers will face off in a Sun Belt battle at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The odds don’t look promising for the Dukes, but the bigger the opponent is, the harder they fall.

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A well-balanced attack led James Madison over the Norfolk State Spartans every single quarter on their way to victory two weeks ago. James Madison claimed a resounding 63-7 win over Norfolk State at home. The game was pretty much decided by the half, when the score had already reached 35 to nothing.

Meanwhile, Appalachian State didn’t have too much breathing room in their contest with the Troy Trojans last week, but they still walked away with a 32-28 victory. Appalachian State QB Chase Brice was slinging it as he passed for two TDs and 279 yards on 34 attempts. Near the top of the highlight reel was Brice’s 53-yard TD bomb to WR Christan Horn in the fourth quarter.

Their wins bumped the Dukes to 2-0 and the Mountaineers to 2-1. Watch the matchup and check back on CBS Sports to find out who keeps up the positive energy and who hits a stumbling block.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kidd Brewer Stadium — Boone, North Carolina
  • TV: ESPN Plus
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $40.99

Odds

The Mountaineers are a solid 6.5-point favorite against the Dukes, according to the latest college football odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Mountaineers as a 7.5-point favorite.

Over/Under: -111

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See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



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UTSA vs. Texas Southern: How to watch NCAA Football online, TV channel, live stream info, game time

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Who’s Playing

Texas Southern @ UTSA

Current Records: Texas Southern 1-2; UTSA 1-2

What to Know

The Texas Southern Tigers will take on the UTSA Roadrunners at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Alamodome. Texas Southern isn’t favored, but they just beat the odds in their last game, so don’t count them out.

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The Tigers kept a clean sheet against the Southern University Jaguars last week and took the matchup 24 to nothing. The squad ran away with 21 points in the first half and mostly just sat on those in the second to pick up the victory.

Meanwhile, it was all tied up 17-17 at halftime, but UTSA was not quite the Texas Longhorns’ equal in the second half when they met last week. The Roadrunners suffered a grim 41-20 defeat to the Longhorns. This contest was a close 17-17 at the break, but unfortunately for UTSA it sure didn’t stay that way. A silver lining for them was the play of RB Brenden Brady, who threw one touchdown in addition to punching in one rushing touchdown.

Texas Southern’s win lifted them to 1-2 while UTSA’s loss dropped them down to 1-2. We’ll find out if the Tigers can add another positive mark to their record or if UTSA can shake off the defeat and take the spring out of Texas Southern’s step.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Alamodome — San Antonio, Texas
  • TV: STADIUM
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $69.00

Odds

The Roadrunners are a big 42-point favorite against the Tigers, according to the latest college football odds.

Bettors have moved against the Roadrunners slightly, as the game opened with the Roadrunners as a 44-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

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Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



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North Carolina vs. Notre Dame live stream info, TV channel: How to watch NCAA Football on TV, stream online

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Who’s Playing

Notre Dame @ North Carolina

Current Records: Notre Dame 1-2; North Carolina 3-0

What to Know

The North Carolina Tar Heels will be returning home after a two-game road trip. They will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kenan Memorial Stadium after a week off. UNC is expected to win — but not by much — so they will need to come into the game prepared for a fight.

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The Tar Heels beat the Georgia State Panthers 35-28 two weeks ago. Among those leading the charge for UNC was RB Omarion Hampton, who rushed for two TDs and 110 yards on 16 carries. Hampton put himself on the highlight reel with a 58-yard TD scramble in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame netted a 24-17 victory over the California Golden Bears last week. RB Audric Estime and RB Chris Tyree were among the main playmakers for Notre Dame as the former punched in one rushing touchdown and the latter snatched one receiving TD.

Notre Dame’s defense was a presence as well, as it embarrassed California’s offensive line to sack QB Jack Plummer six times for a total loss of 47 yards. It was a group effort with four guys contributing.

The wins brought the Tar Heels up to 3-0 and the Fighting Irish to 1-2. A pair of stats to keep an eye on: UNC enters the matchup with 310 passing yards per game on average, good for 21st best in the nation. But Notre Dame comes into the contest boasting the 34th fewest passing yards allowed per game in the nation at 184. These opposing strengths should make for an exciting matchup.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kenan Memorial Stadium — Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • TV: ABC
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $110.00

Odds

The Tar Heels are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Fighting Irish, according to the latest college football odds.

The line on this game has moved quite a bit since it opened, as it started out with the Fighting Irish as a 1.5-point favorite.

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Over/Under: -110

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Notre Dame have won all of the games they’ve played against North Carolina in the last eight years.

  • Oct 30, 2021 – Notre Dame 44 vs. North Carolina 34
  • Nov 27, 2020 – Notre Dame 31 vs. North Carolina 17
  • Oct 07, 2017 – Notre Dame 33 vs. North Carolina 10



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