Last night the Montreal Canadiens prevented Alexander Ovechkin who leads the NHL in shots from recording his second until the third period. Most of the credit for that can go to three Montreal Canadiens; Radek Bonk, Andrei Markov and Mike Komisarek who threw the proverbial blanket over the young Russian superstar.
The Canadiens had two unlikely candidates score in the opening period. Mathieu Dandenault scored his first goal of the season. Dandenault converted a lovely cross crease pass from Guillaume Latendresse. The second goal was provided by Canadiens tough guy Aaron Downey who deflected in a Radek Bonk pass while streaking to the net. Guillaume Latendresse picked up an assist on the goal as well. Cristobal Huet made 14 first period saves to keep the Canadiens in a game they may have been out of after taking three minor penalty’s in the first period.
Aaron Downey got on the score sheet again in the second period but not for producing offence. Downey dropped the gloves with former Canadiens Donald Brashear. Brashear got the best of Downey who had to receive stitches after the fight.
Saku Koivu extended the Canadiens lead to three while the Canadiens were enjoying their forth and final power play. Koivu deflected Sheldon Souray’s’ shot for his 15th goal of the season, Alex Kovalev also added an assist.
Huet appeared to have the shutout in his palm until Craig Rivet took a very selfish and undisciplined cross checking penalty to put the Canadiens down two men for over a minute. Rivet was frustrated after Capitals Captain Chris Clark elbowed him in the face. Alexander Semin scored on the two man advantage at the 17:04 mark. Sheldon Souray scored an unassisted short handed goal into an empty net with 45 seconds to play.
Game Notes: Janne Niinimaa and Garth Murray were healthy scratches for the Canadiens and are the only two players on the roster yet to score a goal. There was a moment of silence before the game to honour former President Gerald Ford, who died Tuesday night. Ford was president when the Capitals entered the NHL as an expansion team for the 1974-75 season
1. Cristobal Huet- made countless big save all game long and should have had his third shutout of the season.
2. Guillaume Latendresse- two assist in his first three shifts he provided the Canadiens with their only even strength offence.
3. Sheldon Souray- became the 9th Hab to score a shorthanded goal this year and added an assist.
1. On three occasions this year Ovechkin has recorded 10+ shots.
2. Mathieu Dandenault scored his first goal in 28 games and Aaron Downey’s’ goal was his first in 18 games.
3. The Habs improved their record to 20-1-5 when scoring three or more goals.
4. With 12 short handed goals the Canadiens are just 3 shy of their team record 15which was established in 95-96.