The Habs were looking to right the ship and snap a season long losing streak
Thursday night against Boston in a battle to maintain their division lead and
they did just that, winning 4-3. The game got off to a near-perfect start
for Montreal as Mike Cammalleri scored on a penalty shot just 64 seconds into
the first after a wide variety of dekes. Maxim Lapierre scored barely 5
minutes afterwards giving the Habs an early 2-0 lead.
But the Bruins wouldn’t roll over and die as Blake Wheeler cut the lead in
half with just over 4 minutes left in the stanza on a goal that Carey Price got
a piece of, the puck barely made it over the line. Undeterred, the Habs
were able to restore their 2-goal lead with just 30 seconds left in the period
as Max Pacioretty picked up his first goal and point of the season to give the
Habs a 3-1 lead heading into the 2nd.
Alexandre Picard’s adventurous week continued tonight in the 2nd period as a
couple of key mistakes and turnovers led to Marc Savard’s first goal of the
campaign which brought the lead back down to 1. Then came the part that no
one expected, as Mike Cammalleri and David Krejci got into a fight while the
Habs were on the PP, a tilt that Cammalleri got the better of, though he did
need some repairs to fix a cut. Nonetheless, that swung the momentum back
in the Habs’ favour. Brian Gionta, determined to keep pace with Cammalleri
at the top of Montreal’s goal scoring race, picked up his 11th goal of the
season with just over 3 minutes left to restore the 2-goal lead heading into the
Montreal kept the pressure up on Boston’s goalie Tim Thomas but were unable
to solve him any further. Milan Lucic scored on the powerplay with less
than 5 minutes to go to cut the deficit down to 1 once more, however, that was
all that they could get. Thomas stopped 37/41 Montreal shots in the loss
while Price kicked away 32 shots for the win. The Habs were 0/2 on the PP
while Boston was 1/4.
HW 3 Stars of the Night:
1st Star: Mike Cammalleri (1 goal, +1 rating, 5 PIMS, 4 shots,
When the team is in a "slump," it’s up to the the top guns to set the tone and
he did just that tonight, not just once, but twice (the goal and the fight).
You can’t ask for more than that.
2nd Star: Max Pacioretty (1 goal, 1 assist, +1 rating, 4 shots,
4 hits, 15:18 TOI)
Despite a solid debut yesterday, he managed to beat that and then some with his
performance on Thursday. For me, it wasn’t the scoring touch that caught
my eye but rather his passing ability, that has come a long way in a short time;
his pass led to the GWG in the 2nd.
3rd Star: Scott Gomez (2 assists, +1 rating, 1 shot, 15:02 TOI)
Though Gionta got the winner, I thought Gomez was more of an overall impact
player in this one as he used his speed very effectively to get around what was
a slow footed Boston defence. A pair of assists certainly didn’t hurt his
Honourable Mention: Tomas Plekanec (0 points, even rating, 5
shots, 3 blocks, 10/20 faceoffs, 23:17 TOI)
It would be very easy (and justifiable) to give this to Brian Gionta but I’m
going to give it to Plekanec for being the go-to guy when they needed some
defensive stops to quash the Boston momentum. He was used in that role for
most of the 2nd and 3rd periods and was terrific in doing so.
Stats of the Night: Mike Cammalleri was the first player in over 5
years to record both a penalty shot goal and a fight in the same game; Jarome
Iginla in Calgary was the last to do so. Despite playing the least amount
of ice time for the Habs, Mathieu Darche led all Montreal players with 5 hits.
Cammalleri’s penalty shot was the first of his career in his 460th career game.