Both teams seem to have had a fair amount of rust to shake off following the two-week Olympic break. There were many turnovers and missed chances at both ends
tonight, as some players seemed to have difficulty regaining their timing. Andrei Kostitsyn missed a few golden opportunities, namely when he failed to capitalize on a pretty passing play late in the middle frame. Josh Gorges did not look like his usual self, getting caught slightly out of position on the first Boston goal and committing a rather egregious giveaway behind his net in the second.
Boston managed to get an early lead on a Marco Sturm power-play marker midway through the first period. The Canadiens certainly obtained more chances in the second, notably Kostitsyn’s aforementioned opportunity, but failed to beat Tukka Rask, who was excellent tonight.
In the third period though, the Canadiens’ role players took over. First, early in the frame, Glen Metropolit capitalized on a pass from Tom Pyatt. A few short minutes thereafter, Travis Moen directed the puck towards Tukka Rask and a streaking Maxim Lapierre tapped in the rebound. Les Glorieux obtained some insurance late when Mathieu Darche banked in a rebound after a Glen Metropolit backhand shot. Finally, Benoit Pouliot closed out the scoring, obtaining an empty net goal with 90 seconds left.
HW 3 Stars of the Night
1. Glen Metropolit Metropolit, like his linemates Darche and Pyatt, played a tremendous blue-collar game. He obtained many high-quality chances, won a considerable amount of his one-on-one battles and, most importantly, obtained two points. His play on Darche’s goal was nothing short of spectacular, deking the Boston defender and taking a sweet one-handed backhand shot.
Statline: 1 goal, 1 assist, 5 shots, +2
2. Maxim Lapierre Perhaps the break helped Lapierre, as he played with renewed energy. He was unafraid to crash the net, obtained some quality chances and was rewarded with the game winning goal. In addition, he was quite physical, leading the team with 6 hits, and won 88% of his draws.
Statline: 1 goal, 3 shots, +1, 6 hits, 88% faceoffs won
3.Tom Pyatt Speed is Pyatt’s bread and butter and it certainly
gave the Boston defence fits tonight. He streaked in the Bruins’ zone with pace
and fed Metropolit a precise pass that allowed the Canadiens to tie the game.
Then, later in the third, he helped create a turnover that allowed Darche to score the third goal. Did I mention that he is fast?
Statline: 2 assists, 2 shots, +2, 1 hit
Honourable mention – Hal Gill The big blueliner played an understated game, but was solid in his own end. He blocked a nearly certain goal in the second period, made many simple defensive plays and used his body effectively.
Statline: +1, 1 shot, 2 blocked shots, 16:49 TOI