Prior to the start of the game the sell-out crowd at the Bell Centre gave a standing ovation in memory of Laura Gainey, daughter of Canadiens GM Bob Gainey who was swept overboard a tall ship off the coast of Cape Cod over the weekend.
Entering last night’s game Sergei Samsonov was stumbling through his longest goalless drought of his ten year career, but he put that to an end thanks to a superb work ethic and a great pass by line-mate Tomas Plekanec. Samsonov’s first goal was a beautiful individual effort, as he straddled the blue line with the puck, then flew by Shean Donovon taking a wrist shot that was stopped by Hannu Toivonen, but Samsonov gathered his rebound and his back hand shot lifted a King Kong sized monkey off the small Russians back.
Andrei Markov opened the scoring on the Canadiens first power play of the evening. Fellow Russian Alex Kovalev flipped a cross crease pass to the Canadiens defenseman, Saku Koivu also picked up an assist on the goal.
Marc Savard tied the game twice on power play goals, the first of which came early in the second period when Patrice Bergeron slid a cross ice pass that Savard one-timed passed the flopping David Aebischer. The second came less than a minute after Samsonov’s first goal. Alex Kovalev coughed the puck up to Glen Murray deep in the Canadiens zone, Murray set up a wide open Savard who roofed his ninth of the season.
With slightly more than eight minutes left in regulation Tomas Plekanec out worked Zdeno Chara behind the Bruins net and from his knees set up Samsonov for his second of the evening. After the game Samsonov said that Plekanec “Made that goal happen.”
With four minutes left in regulation Guillaume Latendresse out smarted Chara with a spin and shoot move that fooled Toivonen as well. Maxim Lapierre picked up his first NHL point on the play.
In the final minute Petr Tenkrat would deflect a Jason York shot passed Aebischer but it was too little to late as the Canadiens beat the Bruins for the ninth time in the last eleven games.
Game Notes: Steve Begin and Sheldon Souray both missed tonight game as they are nursing minor injuries. Chris Higgins also remains out with a high ankle sprain. P.J. Axelsson and Phil Kessel were out of the line-up for the Bruins. Axelsson is out with a foot injury and Kessel had successful surgery yesterday to remove testicular cancer.
1. Sergei Samsonov- scored two goals, had a team high in shots with 7 and +/- with a +2 rating.
2. Marc Savard- also scored twice and led his team in shots.
3. Tomas Plekanec- worked hard all night, gathered an assist and was also a +2
1. David Aebischer won his first game since November 7th, but is undefeated in his two starts against the Bruins in a Canadiens uniform.
2. Alexander Perezhogin found himself in the minus column for only the third time this season. Perezhogin still remains the leader on the team with a +13 rating.
3. Marc Savard has six points in his last two games against the Canadiens prior to that he had just one goal and one assist in his previous eight against the Habs.