By Apron Basu (The Athletic)

MONTREAL — Two consecutive Canadiens games painted two different pictures of coach Martin St. Louis.

Tuesday night in Seattle, coming off an epic collapse in Vancouver one night earlier, the Canadiens allowed a goal with less than one second left in the second period, which cut their lead to 4-2. It was the same score after 40 minutes as the game before, and it came as a result of something that had happened two games earlier: a lack of clock awareness and carelessness at the end of a period.

The repetitiveness of it could have angered St. Louis, but he was happy. He walked into the Canadiens’ dressing room during the second intermission and told his players this was perfect.

“It’s an opportunity to face the same scenario,” St. Louis said after the game in Seattle. “We give up a late goal in the second, we have a two-goal lead going into the third, same scenario as last night. It was something we really addressed today and talked about. We had a discussion about it.”

As opposed to what the Canadiens did in Vancouver, they locked things down in Seattle, and the messaging from their coach went a long way toward their ability to do that. They played smart hockey, mitigated risks, got pucks deep and did some things they are not necessarily inclined to do, but things that get a two-goal lead to the finish line.

“We had a meeting about it the morning of Seattle, just what it takes to win, how you’ve got to play. We don’t need to keep trying to open it up and score more — kind of settle down and make smart plays and smart reads and don’t turn the puck over, which cost us in Vancouver,” Nick Suzuki said Friday. “It shows his demeanor and the way he can stay calm and keep our group calm. If you’re all worried about it, chances are you’re going to lose. We just want to be comfortable in those situations. You’re going to be up two goals a lot during the season, and you have to know how to handle yourself going into the third.”

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