Montembeault praises Zegras' Michigan goal: 'Have to tip your cap to him'

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Upon his return from a wrist injury, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault immediately gave up a goal of the year candidate to Anaheim Ducks rookie Trevor Zegras.

But even Montembeault had to respect Zegras' sensational effort.

"I hadn't played in a week and only had one practice, so I would have liked to have had a different type of shot as a first shot," Montembeault said postgame, according to The Athletic's Arpon Basu. "But it was a really nice goal, have to tip your cap to him."

Zegras stunned the Canadiens by scoring a lacrosse-style Michigan goal early in the second period. The move typically involves a player picking the puck up while stationed behind the net, but Zegras did it casually in stride.

This is Zegras' second jaw-dropping play this season. Earlier this campaign, he went viral for making an alley-oop pass from behind the net, which teammate Sonny Milano batted in out of midair.

Zegras joked postgame that he was trying to deflate the non-existent crowd at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens are one of the only NHL teams that currently has no fans in the stands due to local COVID-19 restrictions.

"Honestly, I just tried to take the crowd out of it. ... (The) atmosphere was pretty crazy tonight," Zegras said. "It was one of those things to try to get the crowd out of it, for sure."

Montembeault entered the game in relief of Cayden Primeau, who allowed three goals on nine shots. Despite losing 5-4, Montembeault laughed at the fact that he'll probably have to relive the goal plenty of times in the coming days.

"I'm going to see myself on TSN or ESPN for a week, so not happy about that," Montembeault said. "But it was a great move."

Zegras has now tallied 12 goals and 20 assists in 40 contests this season, firmly entrenching himself in the Calder Trophy conversation.

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Montembeault praises Zegras' Michigan goal: 'Have to tip your cap to him'
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