With last nights win over the Boston Bruins the Montreal Canadiens maintained their grasp of the longest current winning streak in the NHL. The win also marked the sixth time this season the Canadiens have triumphed over the Bruins.
With time winding down in the first period Bruins defenseman Andrew Alberts attacked the Habs leading goal scorer Michael Ryder with a knee on knee hit. Sheldon Souray took exception to Alberts action, leaving his post at the blue line to defend his teammate. Sheldon Souray was given 17 minutes of penalties for his actions, causing him to miss the majority of the second period.
The first period ended as it had begun with goose eggs on the score board. Cristobal Huet extended his shutout streak over the Bruins to 227 minutes and 20 seconds. Bruins goalie Tim Thomas made 14 first period saves to keep the game scoreless.
Souray’s penalties would prove costly as only 19 seconds into the second period Patrice Bergeron batted in a rebound snapping Cristobal Huet’s impressive shootout streak. However that lead would barley last two minutes. With Mark Stuart in the sin bin for interference Jan Bulis finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play. Andrei Markov and Mike Ribeiro picked up the assists on Bulis’ 18th goal of the year. While enjoying another man advantage the Canadiens would gain their first lead of the game. Michael Ryder gathered a rebound from a Chris Higgins shot and beat Tim Thomas five hole for his 29th goal of the season. Just over a minute later the Bruins would score again while on the man advantage. Bergeron sent the puck into the Canadiens crease and the puck caromed off a Canadiens players skate and into the yawning cage.
In the opening minute of the third period the Bruins would strike again. Marco Sturm’s wrist shot slipped by Huet’s glove providing the Bruins with their second lead of the game. However penalties would once again prove costly for the Bruins. While already a man down Glen Murray ran into Cristobal Huet and was given a two minute minor for goalie interference. During the two man advantage Saku Koivu cut into the low slot and roofed his 16th goal of the season equalizing the score for the third time in the game.
With a little more than 5 minutes to play in the third period Koivu sent the puck behind the net to Ryder. Ryder brought the puck out front and slid a pin point pass to Chris Higgins for his 20th goal of the season. A minute later Aaron Downey would score his first goal as a Montreal Canadien.
1. Michael Ryder
2. Andrei Markov
3. Patrice Bergeron
1. Chris Higgins is the first Canadiens first round draft pick to score 20 goals in his rookie season since Saku Koivu.
2. The Canadiens record with Andrei Markov in the line-up since Bob Gainey took over is 18-1-3, quite an amazing stat if I do say so myself.
3. This current seven game winning streak is the Canadiens longest since the 2001-2002 season when the won seven straight before dropping consecutive games against the Devils and Sabres.