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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Fans Prefer Canadiens' Old Forum

MONTREAL -- After opening the Molson Centre to mixed reviews, the Montreal Canadiens did what many of their fans wanted -- they went back to the Forum.

It was just for one last practice while the Molson Centre played host to an open house for the public Sunday. They were to be back at the new rink Monday night to face the Buffalo Sabres.

Not everyone was enthralled with the new 21,361-seat building after Montreal's 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers in the inaugural National Hockey League game Saturday night.

One fan called it the Montreal Morgue for its relative lack of atmosphere compared to the vibrancy people were used to at the 72-year-old Forum.

Sound from the crowd seemed to die in the vast space of the new rink, which is more than twice the size of the Forum.

But Le Journal de Montreal dubbed it a "superb place to watch a hockey game."

"The spectators [and journalists] will quickly get used to the comfort and modernism of the Molson Centre as well as the superb eight-sided scoreboard showing replays," the newspaper said.

Canadiens defenseman Peter Popovic said he was too busy to notice the sold out fans.

"My wife told me after that it was so quiet," he said. "I like it when it's noisier, when people scream and shout and really get into the game. Maybe people were nervous the first night."


Despite having the worst team in the NHL playing in front of him, Damian Rhodes posted his second consecutive shutout as the Ottawa Senators blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-0 on Sunday.

Rhodes, who stopped 30 shots, became the first goaltender in Senators history to record back-to-back shutouts.

The first shutout, a 2-0 home win over Vancouver on Friday, was the first of Rhodes' career.


The Philadelphia Flyers traded Craig MacTavish, 37, to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for center Dale Hawerchuk, 32 on Saturday.

(For other results, see Scorecard.)