Finally Huet has won a shootout, for the first time this season he was able to help his team earn the My NHL extra point. Prior to tonight Huet had lost all three shootouts he had participated in allowing five goals on eight shots.
How we got to the shootout.
Montreal (24-14-8) came out of the gates flying but were unable to convert any of their early chances. Atlanta (23-22-3) on the other hand opened the scoring while enjoying their second power play late in the 1st period. Marian Hossa attempted a cross crease pass, Huet tried to stop it but in the process knocked the puck behind him into the net, (former Canadiens forward) and waiver pick up Mark Recchi picked up an assist on the goal. Recchi now has 19 points in 19 games since being claimed by the Thrashers on re-entry waivers.
Andrei Kostitsyn tied the hockey game in 6th minute of the second period with another one of his high light reel goals. Kostitsyn first slid by Eric Perrin in the neutral zone, then split Ken Klee and Alexei Zhitnik inside the blue line, and fooled Kari Lehtonen with a back hand for his 12th goal of the season. The Canadiens controlled the rest of the period and out shoot Atlanta 16-7 but were unable to put any more past Lehtonen.
Michael Ryder gave the Canadiens the lead thanks to three great passes which started behind the Canadiens net with Mike Komisarek. Komisarek led Bryan Smolinski out of the zone, Smolinski bounced it to Guillaume Latendresse who fed Michael Ryder in the slot for his 7th goal of the season. Ryder now has 4 goals in his last 9 games, much better than the 1 he scored in his previous 20.
Three minutes to the second later Cristobal Huet cost his team the lead…
Just as Colin Stuart was exiting the penalty box Huet misplayed the puck in the “no touch area”, Perrin chipped the puck in front of the net to Pascal Dupuis who deposited what surely the easiest of his 9 goals so far this season.
Overtime solved nothing and the Thrashers elected to shoot first.
Vyacheslav Kozlov shot first but launched his shot wide.
Andrei Kostitsyn soared at Lehtonen and slid a wrist shot five-hole to give the Canadiens the lead.
Hossa shot next but stayed with him and gave Koivu a chance to end it.
Koivu scored using a carbon copy of the move Kostitsyn used.
1. Andrei Kostitsyn- a high light reel goal and the shootout game winner too bad he only had 1 shot all game.
2. Kari Lehtonen – he was remarkable and without him the Thrashers easily loose this game in 60 minutes.
3. Marian Hossa- a goal, 5 shots as well as his yeomen’s work on the penalty kill.
1. All three Canadiens Thrashers games this season have ended 3-2 in the shootout.
2. The Canadiens improved to 5-1 all time against the Thrashers on Thursday nights.
3. Montreal has allowed 27 or fewer shots 10 times this season, they have only lost one of those games in regulation.
4. It was the 16th time this year Montreal failed to score a power play goal. Montreal’s record in those games is a paltry 5-7-3.