Twenty minutes, yes twenty minutes is the amount of time the Canadiens were competitive last night. The Habs had four excellent scoring chances in the opening eight minutes but were thwarted each time by Tim Thomas’ Hasek esque performance. Mr Thomas came up with his best save on former Bruin Sergei Samsonov who danced around Andrew Alberts and appeared t have an empty net to shoot at but Thomas made an enormous glove save to prevent the Canadiens from opening the scoring.
At 8:29 of the first period Zdeno Chara took the first Bruins shot and it would have been a routine save for the NHL’s save percentage leader but Francis Bouillon deflected the puck into the top corner of his own net. Four minutes later Tomas Plekanec tripped a Bruins forward and made his way to the penalty box. On the ensuing power play Craig Rivet made a horrendous clearing attempt that was easily intercepted by Patrice Bergeron, Bergeron slid the puck to Marco Sturm who buried his 10th of the season short side. The Canadiens cut into the lead before the period ended, Mike Komisarek scored from that point with a wrist shot that bounced its way past Thomas.
Saku Koivu and Glen Murray were sent to the dressing room early as the two veterans mixed it up at centre ice. Both players were assessed rouging minors.
Alex Kovalev provided the Bruins with four 2nd period power plays but the only the Canadiens would generate offence from Kovalev’s illegal actions. Michel Ryder finished of a two on one for his 10th of the year and the Habs league leading 11th short handed goal. The Canadiens were out shot 13- 4 in the second period.
Boston played a superb defensive game in the final frame and had two surprising players chip in to provide the Bruins with their 14th win in their last 20 games. Milan Jurcina beat Huet with a low slap shot that should have been stopped, and one minute and eleven second later Stanislav Chistov walked around Mike Komisarek and scored a beautiful insurance goal for the Bruins.
Michael Ryder took a four minute high sticking penalty in the final minutes to decimate the Canadiens slim hopes for a comeback. Albers who was injured by Ryder’s careless stick reported having vision loss after the game.
1. Tim Thomas- gave the Canadiens a taste of their own medicine keeping his team in a game they did not belong in early on.
2. Marc Savard- set up the game winning goal and added an assist an assist on Chara’s goal. Extending his point streak to seven games.
3. Andrew Alberts- one assist and a team best +2 rating.
1. Cristobal Huet recorded his first NHL point picking up an assist on Ryder’s goal.
2. Mike Komisarek who leads all Canadiens defenders in +/- continues to improve his offensive game. He now has four goals and five assists. His previous career highs were 2 goals and 4 assists.
3. Craig Rivet was a minus player for the 11th time this season.
4. This is Montreal’s first regulation loss in a game where they scored a short handed goal.