Archive for the ‘Game Recaps’ Category

Habs Beat Rangers, Win Sixth Straight

The suddenly surging Montreal Canadiens defeated the New York Rangers 3-1 last night to notch their sixth straight and move into an almost comfortable sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

Glen Metropolit scored his career-high 16th goal, Sergei Kostitsyn got the second and Tomas Plekanec snagged an empty-netter to seal the win late in the game following the successful killing of a 6-4 Rangers advantage; Sean Avery potted the lone goal against Jaraoslav Halak. New York was limited to only 20 shots on net, due in large part to the 18-5 shot advantage the Canadiens held in the second period alone.

The Habs have now moved above the Flyers in the standings and sit only a single point behind the Ottawa Senators for fifth. After taking on the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday the Habs will face the Senators, Sabres, Panthers and Devils next week.

Sharks Come From Behind, Win 3-2

After taking 1-0 and 2-1 leads respectively, the latter into the third period, the San Jose Sharks managed to come from behind in the third period to overtake the Canadiens 3-2. Carey Price made his second start in two games, playing an exceptional game against the high-powered Sharks offense; San Jose managed 40 shots on net.

Linemates Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez scored for the Habs, with Gomez adding an assist. The loss drops Montreal into tenth place in the Eastern Conference with a 30-29-6 record with their trailers each holding games-in-hand. This west coast road trip wraps up this weekend with a game Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings and another Sunday against Captain Koivu and the Anaheim Ducks.

Habs Overtake Bruins in Third Period For Win

The Habs played a bit of a lame first period and headed to the first (and second) intermission down 1-0 to the host Boston Bruins before the Habs’ grinders picked up the pace in the third period, exploding for four goals to give the Canadiens a 4-1 win over the boys from Beantown to begin our stretch run.

Carey Price started his first game since well before the Olympic break, stopping 22 of 23 Boston shots and keeping his team in the game during a tight two periods to begin the game. The Habs came alive in the third with goals from Glen Metropolit, Maxin Lapierre, Mathieu Darche (who also added an assist on the Metro goal – I love this guy!) and an empty netter by Benoit Pouliot, freshly back in uniform following his injury in January.

Montreal travels to San Jose for a game against the always-tough Sharks on Thursday before meeting both the L.A. Kings and Anaheim Ducks over the weekend in a tough west road swing.

Habs Lose Back-to-Back to Philly

Les boys dropped both matches in their home-and-home series with the Flyers on Friday and Saturday, losing 3-2 and 6-2 respectively. The losses put the Habs back into eighth spot in the Eastern Conference with Philadelphia and Boston both holding games in hand.

The Flyers managed to get up 3-0 on Montreal in both games, first against Carey Price on Friday and then Jaroslav Halak on Saturday, chasing the latter when he gave up five goals in two periods. Price also had problems in his start, letting in a couple of questionable goals including a floater from the point. Goaltending aside, though, the Flyers really had their way with the entire team in both games. Between our undersized forwards, lack of goal scoring ability and clumsy defense, we never really had a chance in either contest.

The one bright spot in a Habs fan’s weekend? P.K. Subban, the ultra-confident, strong, aggressive d-man that we’ve been watching develop in Hamilton get his first two NHL games under his belt, grabbing an assist each night to boot.

Enjoy the Olympics and, barring any exciting news in the meantime that requires a blog post, see you after the break!

Habs Win Thriller Over Capitals; Streak Over

The Washington Capitals oh-so-impressive 14 game winning streak came to a crashing end in overtime last night against none other than our own Montreal Canadiens in a spirited and high-energy game that saw both teams trade goals throughout.

The Habs managed six goals against the league’s hottest team despite the fact that the players responsible for more than 40% of goals scored for Montreal are currently on the sidelines with injury, with players of all stripes stepping up and contributing. Tomas Plekanec, no stranger to the back of the new, scored twice including the game-winner, while Scott Gomez notched a goal and an assist, Tom Pyatt recorded his first ever NHL goal, Maxim Lapierre got his first in 30+ games and Glen Metropolit added another.

Of note was the play also of Sergei Kostitsyn who shows excellent hockey vision in picking up three assists, including a beauty on the game-winner; Carey Price was also noteworthy for his many top-notch saves and the couple of so-so stinkers he let in to tie it. Considering he had not played in 10 days and came in cold against Ovechkin and company, Carey’s performance looked outstanding to me.

The game took a scary turn near the end of the first period when Josh Gorges laid his body down to block a shot and ended up taking it in the head. He lay motionless on the ice for some time, causing an uneasy stillness to settle over the Bell Centre as players and fans watched while doctors attempted to revive him. After the scary shot and a decent bit of blood, Gorges managed to get to his feet and was doing very well by all accounts following the game.

Onto a home-and-home with Philadelphia this weekend to close out the Olympic break.

Bruins Shut Out Habs 3-0

After a great performance against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (one of the best games I’ve seen this season), the Canadiens came out with a little less energy against the Boston Bruins yesterday, falling 3-0 to end their three-game winning streak.

Tuuka Rask stole the show for the Bruins, making 36 saves and keeping his team with the lead while being outshot 15-3 in the second period. The Habs put good pressure on the Bruins but weren’t able to generate many quality scoring chances; Rask was there when they did. Jaroslav Halak made his fifth straight start and played a solid game for the most part despite losing, giving Boston their first win in 10 games in the process.

The Habs will face the red-hot Washington Capitals on Wednesday before playing a home-and-home series with Philadelphia on Friday and Saturday to welcome the Olympic break.

Halak Shines, Bruins Continue Spiral

At a Glance: For the second straight game, Jaroslav Halak faced more than 40 shots on goal and once again, he was the difference for the Canadiens as they stole two points in Boston with a 3-2 shootout win over the Bruins on Thursday night. Two nights after making 45 saves against the Vancouver Canucks, Halak stopped 45 Boston shots while his teammates could muster only 25 shots on Tuukka Rask. Mark Recchi scored his 11th of the season on the power play in the first period, during which the Bruins outshot Montreal 15-5. Blake Wheeler made it 2-0 early in the second period and it looked like they were on their way to an easy win. But the Canadiens scored two goals within 39 seconds near the end of the second period to tie things up. Glen Metropolit scored his 11th of the season on a power play, his first goal since December. Roman Hamrlik tied it 2-2 with a shot that Rask couldn’t see thanks to Mathieu Darche being parked in the goaltender’s crease. Brian Gionta scored the winning goal in the shootout with a great move and a backhand shot under the crossbar.

• Key Moments: The Canadiens were able to kill off a Boston power play in overtime, and limited the Bruins to only one goal in six man advantages. Montreal was 1-for-2 on the power play.

• What It Means: Montreal improves to 27-25-6 for 60 points, moving the Canadiens into sixth spot in the Eastern Conference. Montreal also puts some distance between themselves and the Bruins, who are at 56 points but have three games in hand. The Bruins have now lost nine straight games.

• What’s Next: The Canadiens are back home for afternoon games this weekend with the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Bell Centre on Saturday and the Bruins in Montreal on Super Bowl Sunday.

Halak Makes 45 Saves, Habs Beat Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks rolled into Montreal on a seven-game winning streak but couldn’t keep up the winning play against the Habs last night as Les Boys took two points in a 3-2 regulation win.

Jaroslav Halak, starting following a loss for the first time this season, made 45 saves to lead the Canadiens to their first win in four games, propelling them back into a playoff spot and ending the ‘Nucks winning streak. With Mike Camallerri out, Sergei Kostitsyn and Maxim Lapierre stepped up to notch their first goals in a long while and Tomas Plekanec added the game winner in the third period.

The Habs will now move on to face the Bruins in Boston on Thursday before playing a pair of afternoon home games over the weekend versus the Penguins and the Bruins.

The playoffs are still within reach!

Sens top Habs in OT; Camallerri Injured

The Habs couldn’t hold their own yesterday afternoon against the streaking Ottawa Senators as the team from Kanata picked up a franchise record ninth straight win.

Alex Kovalev notched a goal and an assist for the Sens and Les Habitants failed to score 5-on-5 throughout, with Benoit Pouliot and Brian Gionta netting powerplay markers to force overtime with Mike Fisher eventually scoring the winner. The Habs have now not scored at even strength since their 6-0 win over the New York Rangers last week. Halak was steady in goal for the Canadiens.

Now for the really bad news: with only seven minutes to play in the third period Mike Camallerri took a bad spill into the boards after being checked by Anthon Volchenkov and had his right leg twist awkwardly. Reports today say that Cammy left Scotia Bank Place on crutches and with an inflatable leg cast on. Uh-oh.

Shut Out By Lightning, Habs Flee Florida

If you watched Tuesday’s game against the Florida Panthers (and you’re a Habs fan) then you likely spent much of the night cursing the slow-moving, no-effort Canadiens as they blew a slim 1-0 lead heading into the third period to lose 2-1 in regulation.

With the hopes that that lain egg would inspire the Canadiens of last week (a win in Jersey and a 6-0 drubbing of the Rangers) to show up in Tampa last night, I tuned into TSN. Instead of a strong effort, I was greeted with TSN analysts harping about Montreal’s “goalie controversy” throughout the pre-game and intermissions with the sight of my Habs getting shut down 3-0 by the Lightning.

While I do reside in the camp that would like to see Halak get a few straight starts, in no way can the loss last night be blamed on Carey Price. The defense (Markov especially) was porous, the offense was non-existent and the giveaways were never-ending.

With the loss the Habs drop to ninth in the packed Eastern Conference; next game in Saturday afternoon in Ottawa for Hockey Day in Canada.

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