The Habs wanted to send a message to say they’re not dead – message received.
On Thursday night, the Habs came up with arguably their best effort of the
playoffs en route to a dominating 5-1 victory over the Flyers. However,
Montreal still trails the series 2-1. A key to this one was scoring first,
which Mike Cammalleri did; Tom Pyatt added another first period tally to give
the Habs a 2-0 lead heading into the break.
Fortunately, unlike other series, the Habs didn’t sit back on the lead, as
Dominic Moore added his 4th of the postseason near the midway point of the 2nd.
Brian Gionta scored early in the 3rd, while Marc-Andre Bergeron scored on a
2-man advantage in the last minute. Simon Gagne replied for the Flyers.
For the third straight game, the Habs outshot the Flyers, this time by a 38-26
HW 3 Stars of the Game:
1) Roman Hamrlik: It wasn’t just up front where the veterans needed to
take the lead, the same was the case on defence. Tonight, Hamrlik stepped
up his game in a big way. On the downside, his fight was a little iffy,
but that’s really the only blemish on an otherwise strong night.
Statline: 2 assists, +4 (tied team high), 5 PIMS (team high), 3 shots,
3 blocks (tied team high), 23:06 TOI
2) Tom Pyatt: After I questioned how much ice time he should be
getting in last game’s recap, it seems only fitting that he has a 2 point outing
tonight. Better still, he kept up his strong defensive play while
providing the offensive spark.
Statline: 1 goal, 1 assist, +1 rating, 3 shots, 2 hits, 2 blocks,
3) Maxim Lapierre: Now this is the pest Hab fans have come to love
(with other teams hating him for the same reason). He didn’t play all that
much despite the large lead but certainly made the most of his limited minutes.
Statline: 1 assist, +2 rating, 2 PIMS, 4 shots, 3 hits, 2/5 faceoffs,
HM) Jaroslav Halak: In a 5-1 game, it’s easy to forget the goalie, but
this was a critical bounce back game for the Habs to have a chance in the
series. He made some key saves early and the one goal he allowed wasn’t
his fault. His success may be under shadowed by the final score but this
is a huge positive moving forward.
Statline: 1 GA, 25 SVS, 1.00 GAA, .962 SV%
Stat of the Night: It’s not often I’ll throw my own two cents in here
but why on earth did Ryan O’Byrne play just 1:34 tonight? Yes, he took a
dumb penalty early but how long do you hold that against him? Jacques
Martin squandered a tremendous opportunity to get O’Byrne back in the flow of
things with the lead well in hand in the 3rd. Considering his limited
usage tonight, I suspect he’ll be out of the lineup once again for Game 4.