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The Habs, buoyed by a late 2nd period scoring outburst, defeated the Carolina
Hurricanes 7-2 on Saturday night to sweep the week.  However, the game was
not all good news, as d-man Andrei Markov left the game late in the 3rd period
after a collision with Eric Staal with what is believed to be a knee injury, the
same one that forced him to miss the beginning of the season.

Tomas Plekanec got the scoring started in the 1st while Mike Cammalleri ended
his 8-game scoring drought late in the stanza to give the Habs a 2-0 lead
heading into the 2nd.  However, Anton Babchuk and ex-Hab Tom Kostopoulos
scored barely two minutes apart to tie the game with 9 minutes left in the
frame.  Then the floodgates opened.

Brian Gionta scored on a tight shot to give the Habs the lead, a goal that
proved to be the eventual winner.  Exactly one minute later, Maxim Lapierre
showed great poise on a breakaway chance to double the lead, chasing Carolina’s
starter Cam Ward away in the process.  Benoit Pouliot scored what proved to
the first of three straight powerplay goals to give Montreal a 5-2 lead heading
to the 3rd.  Andrei Kostitsyn and Mathieu Darche tallied PPG’s late to
close out the scoring.  Carey Price made 28 saves in the win, while Cam
Ward allowed 4 goals on 22 shots in the loss.  His replacement, Justin
Peters didn’t fare any better, he stopped 8 of 11.

HW 3 Stars of the Night:

1st Star: Tomas Plekanec (1 goal, 3 assists, +3 rating, 2
blocks, 13/25 faceoffs, 19:16 TOI)

What is there to say that the numbers don’t say already?  He was dominant
in every aspect of the game tonight, with the exception of the faceoff dot…and
he was still above 50% there too.

2nd Star: Mike Cammalleri (1 goal, 1 assist, +3 rating 3 shots,
2 PIMS, 15:14 TOI)

This may be a bit of a surprise considering the options, but to me, this looked
like the Cammalleri of last season’s playoffs.  He was aggressive, willing
to fire at will, and unlike recently, actually hit the net as well.

3rd Star: Carey Price (28 saves on 30 shots,
60:00 TOI)

As tempting as it is to leave the goalie out of the 3-Stars in a 5-goal
game, it wouldn’t be doing him justice.  It’s hard to remember but the game
was tied past the halfway point, largely due to him as the team came out sloppy
early on.  A quality game for sure.

Honourable Mention: Jaroslav Spacek (2 assists, +1 rating, 3
shots, 3 takeaways, 18:55 TOI)

Yes, he did have a pair of assists, but I was most impressed with his
defensive presence.  The mistakes he has been chastised for making most of
the year simply weren’t there.  His 3 takeaways accounted for half of
Montreal’s team total.

Stat of the Night: Don’t look now, but the Habs are on fire on
the powerplay.  Dating back to earlier in the week when the scored vs
Vancouver, the team has now tickled the twine in 6 of their last 12

Scoring Summary

1st Period
Plekanec (Moen, Kostitsyn) 11:18
Cammalleri (Plekanec, Gionta) 18:32

2nd Period
Babchuk (Staal, Jokinen) 9:08 (PP)
Kostopoulos (Staal, Jokinen) 11:21
Gionta (Plekanec, Gorges) 14:34
Lapierre (Spacek) 15:34
Pouliot  (Spacek, Gomez) 18:09 (PP)

3rd Period
Kostitsyn (Plekanec, Cammalleri) 17:43 (PP)
Darche (Gomez, Hamrlik) 18:35 (PP)