The slumping Canadiens visit the struggling Thrashers in a very important Eastern Conference matchup. With Buffalo breathing down Montreal’s neck, the Habs surely want to exit this game with two points.
Montreal 1-0: The Habs came out strong and 6 minutes into the contest they were rewarded with their collective efforts. Zednik kept the puck in on the side boards and managed to get it behind the net to Koivu. Koivu fought off one check and managed to get the puck in front of the net to an uncovered Jan Bulis who made no mistake and potted his 13th of the season.
Atlanta 1-1: The Thrashers went on a 5 on 3 for a little under 20 seconds, but it proved to be enough time for them to tie up the score. Once the power play got set up, Randy Robitaille simply put the puck on the stick of one of the NHL’s best players and Ilya Kovalchuk made no mistake and beat Theodore for the first time on the season. Much had been made of how Theodore has beaten Ilya on every occasion so far this year, but Kovalchuk got his revenge with this goal.
Atlanta 2-1: Atlanta took the lead as Kovalchuk came in on the wing and had all day to think about what he wanted to do. Finally, he found a streaking Kaberle and Frantisek was able to direct the puck into the open cage. Steve Begin was the culprit on this goal after he failed to properly cover Kaberle.
Atlanta 3-1: The Thrashers increased their lead on a rather large mistake from goaltender Jose Theodore. Theodore went behind his net to play the puck, and one has to wonder what he was thinking when he tried to lift the puck over the net. Of course the puck hit the back of the net and the puck managed to get out in front for an easy Atlanta marker. Clearly a mental mistake from a struggling Theodore. I would expect Garon to be in goal on Thursday.
Atlanta 4-1: Heatley and Robitaille come in on a 2 on 1. Robitaille elects to shoot but Theodore makes the save. Theo does, however, not control the puck very well and Healtley is able to smack it into the back of the net. This really killed the Canadiens because the Habs were showing signs of life prior to this goal.
The Habs power play went an awful 0-4 in the first period, including a 5 on 3 for a complete 2 minutes. If the Habs want to get into the playoffs, the power play is going to have to improve quickly.
Atlanta outshot the Habs in the second, but the Canadiens hold the edge on the game with a 22-15 count. Montreal is going to have to get it’s act in gear in the third if it has any plans of coming out of this game with some points.
Another disapointing game for the Canadiens as they continue their downward spiral. Buffalo lurks not far behind Montreal and the schedule gets tougher to close at the week, with the Calgary Flames paying the Canadiens a visit on Thursday night.