The Canadiens’ West Coast road trip takes a stop in LA as the Kings struggle to keep a playoff berth and the Habs try to win seven in eight games. Kovalev is not playing tonight and Garon will be between the pipes for the Canadiens, as will Huet for the Kings.
Perreault – Koviu – Zednik
Dagenais – Ribeiro – Ryder
Begin – Dowd – Ward
Langdon – Juneau – Dackell
Markov – Quintal
Boullion – Brisebois
Rivet – Komisarek
1st Period Wrap-up: Bad first period for Montreal. Garon came up huge and kept the bagels hanging. Shots were at one point 11-2 for LA, but they evened out to 12-5. Canadiens need to come out strong in the second or the Kings could walk away with the game in the second.
Montreal Goal (1-0 MTL): Ward picks up a loose puck on the half boards and makes the pass to Dowd near the side of the net. Dowd passes it to Begin who makes no mistake and knocks it in. Begin’s 8th of the campaign from Dowd and Ward at the 5:02 mark of the 2nd period.
Montreal Goal (2-0 MTL): Komisarek takes a hard shot from the point which is stopped by Huet. Zednik gets a skate on it and Perrault gets a shot that just squeaks in. Perrault’s 12th of the year from Zednik and Komisarek at the 6:16 mark of the 2nd period.
LA Goal (2-1 MTL): Laperriere’s shot from the point bounces off Rivet and Garon, and the puck goes to an unmolested Belanger who chips it just under the crossbar and in. Belanger’s 12th of the season from Laperriere and Avery at the 17:25 mark of the 2nd period.
2nd Period Wrap-up: Another ugly period for Montreal, but two quick goals gave them some breathing room. Shots are completely off the mark at 29 to 12 in favour of LA after two periods. Garon made a miraculous save with his blocker to keep the lead. The Canadiens have to come out hitting and not get drawn into penalties. The game’s getting pretty chippy and I wouldn’t be suprised if it got pretty physical in the final stanza.
Montreal Goal (3-1 MTL): Perreault gets the puck just past his own blueline and dumps the puck into the offensive zone as Zednik chases it down with a Kings defender on him. Zednik gets driven into the boards and comes out with the puck. He walks in front of the net, tries to bang it in, and the puck comes loose near the side of the net as Zednik turns and fires it off Huet’s glove and in. Zednik’s 22nd of the year from Perreault and Koivu at the 15:11 mark of the 3rd.
LA Goal (3-2 MTL): Armstrong passes to Belanger in the corner, who throws it to the net. Klatt bangs away at it and finally gets it in. Klatt’s 16th of the year from Belanger and Armstrong at the 19:27 mark of the 3rd. Powerplay goal, LA net empty.
Montreal Goal (4-2 MTL): The Canadiens dump the puck out with the LA net empty. Begin fights for it and falls. He’s alone in the high slot with the puck but instead of trying a risky backhand on his knees, he leaves it for Zednik who pots his second of the night. Zednik’s 23rd of the season from Begin and Koivu from 19:58 of the 3rd. Empty net goal.
Game Wrap-up: This was all Garon. The only goal Montreal deserved was the Zednik goal for the hard work Richie put into it. LA should have walked away with this game.
Shots on Goal:
MTL 23 – LA 48
- Mathieu Garon
- Richard Zednik
- Sean Avery
Habs Best Player: Is it any question that Mathieu Garon is my pick? He was absolutely amazing with that stick tonight. You have to feel good when your backup can perform like that.
Habs Worst Player: I hate to single out players on a team that came out completely flat, but if I had to finger people, I’d like to pick the 2nd line of Dagenais – Ribeiro – Ryder. Invisible tonight and didn’t play with any heart it seemed. 2 SOG and about 33 minutes of ice-time between the three of them. Not a great night.