Quite simply the Canadiens needed the win tonight and despite a minor collapse in the second period they held on. Chris Higgins scored a goal and added two assists in the Canadiens 4-2 win over the Bruins. Montreal has now won seven consecutive vs. Boston outscoring them 28 to 11 during that time frame.
Montreal got the spark they wanted from call-up’s Maxim Lapierre and Ryan O’Byrne. Lapierre was his usual pesky self getting under the Bruins skin and causing havoc along the boards. O’Byrne almost had a perfect game his sole blemish coming at 8:41 of the second period. O’Byrne lost P.J. Axelsson beside the Canadiens net and Marc Savard set him up for his third goal of the season. Otherwise O’Byrne was excellent he had two assists and broke up two odd man rushes with his long reach.
Chris Higgins opened the scoring at 3:03 when Tuukka Rask dropped a rebound right on his stick just six seconds before the 2 minute hooking penalty assessed to Glen Murray was to expire. Roman Hamrlik and Mark Streit picked up assists the 13th goal of the year for Higgins. Ten minutes later the ever mature Kyle Chipchura doubled the lead. Higgins dropped the puck to him on the boards at the blue line and Chipchura cut to the slot using the Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman as a screen to beat Rask five hole with a wrist shot.
With two minutes left in the opening period Andrei Kostitsyn zipped a cross ice pass to Tomas Plekanec. Plekanec and Alex Kovalev found themselves on a 2-1, Plekanec decided to shoot and Zdeno Chara deflected the puck into the top corner.
The 2nd period was not so friendly.
Boston broke the seal as the Canadiens did on the power play. Dennis Wideman launched a low slap shot that deflected off of the shin of Phil Kessel past Carey Price. The blame for the goal can be placed solely at the feet of Bryan Smolinski who failed to win a battle with Peter Schaefer for the puck along the boards.
Just 22 seconds after the Boston goal they were sent back to the power play after Kovalev was sent to the box for one of those “My NHL” one handed hooks. Montreal managed to kill the penalty but nine seconds after it expired is when Axelsson made it a one goal game.
After being out shot and out hustled in the second Montreal came to play once again in the third out shooting the Bruins 17-7 and adding an insurance goal by Mathieu Dandenault who replaced Bryan Smolinski on the first line.
Both Bryan Smolinski and Steve Begin left the game and did not return with injuries. It is believed that Begin’s injury is not severe but the exact opposite for Smolinski. Patrice Brisebois, Josh Gorges and Michael Ryder were all healthy scratches.
1. Chris Higgins — 1 goal 2 assists and he looked like his old self beating guys to the puck down low.
2. Marc Savard — 1 assists and easily the best Bruins forward.
3. Mike Komisarek — +2 rating on the night another pair of blocked shots and 26 + minutes of ice time.
Honourable mention to Ryan O’Byrne who had 2 assists in his first NHL game and looked very poised.
1. Carey Price is now 3-0 all time against the Bruins in his young career.
2. Marc Savard is now on a 12 game point streak
3. Tomas Plekanec has 6 points in 4 games against Boston this year.