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The Habs capped off their week long road trip with another victory, beating
the Lightning 4-2 on Saturday night.  Special teams were critical in this
one, as the Habs’ powerplay scored on 2 of their 3 chances, while Tampa Bay was
only 1 for 6, including not scoring on a lengthy 2-man advantage in the 3rd that
basically ended any hopes for a comeback.  Hal Gill kicked off the scoring
early in the 1st for the second straight game on another shot from the point.

David Desharnais doubled the Habs’ lead on the PP on a pretty little move to
deke out Dwayne Roloson just 3 minutes later.  That 2-0 lead held strong
until 1:25 of the 2nd, where former Hab Dominic Moore scored on the powerplay to
cut the lead in half.  From there, Max Pacioretty took over, scoring his
first of the game (also on the powerplay) before the end of the 2nd, and then
again early in the 3rd to basically seal the deal.  Vincent Lecavalier got
one back late in the 3rd but it was not enough for the Bolts.  Roloson
stopped 19 of 23 shots in the loss while Carey Price made an impressive 43 saves
for the win.

HW 3 Stars of the Night

1st Star: Max Pacioretty (2 goals, +2 rating, 2 shots, 2 hits,
14:47 TOI)

He was relatively quiet in the first half of the game but took over in the
2nd half.  His PPG was from what’s quickly becoming ‘his area,’ right to
the side of the goalie in the traffic areas, while his 2nd one was on quite the
impressive shot.  Patch that in with a decent physical game and what
started off as a quiet night turned into a very productive one.

2nd Star: Scott Gomez (1 assist, +1 rating, 2 shots, 4
takeaways, 18:11 TOI)

There are nights when the statline doesn’t do a player justice and this was
one of them.  Gomez set up enough scoring chances that you couldn’t count
them on fingers alone.  Most impressive to me though was his effort in the
defensive zone, where his takeaways accounted for 2/3 of the Habs’ total. 
Perhaps taking a few more days off for rest here and there should be in the
cards moving forward.

3rd Star: Carey Price (43 saves on 45 shots, 2.00 GAA, .956 SV%)

On most nights, 43 saves would get him 1st Star but quite frankly, I didn’t
feel the Lightning had a lot of quality scoring chances.  Like the game in
Atlanta earlier in the week, lots of the shots were on the perimeter.  That
said, he was strong when called upon, while his pokecheck on the 2-man
advantage, to me, was the turning point of the game.

Honourable Mention: Hal Gill (1 goal, +1 rating, 2 shots, 2
hits, 3 blocks, 24:26 TOI)

He goes 100 games between goals and then goes on a scoring streak.  His
shot is often underrated, but when he has the time to get it off, good things
will happen.  His defensive presence was also strong in this one, just a
solid all-around game for sure.

Stats of the Night: Though Tom Pyatt’s presence in the lineup
is assumed to be primarily for his penalty killing proficiency, it wasn’t the
case in this one.  In his 7:09 of ice time, he played exactly 0:00 on the
PK.  I can’t help but wonder why Jeff Halpern isn’t used to take the
faceoffs on the Cammalleri – Plekanec – Halpern trio.  Halpern is the team
leader on the draw while Plekanec is hot and cold.  In this game, Plekanec
was on the cold side, winning only 9 of 25 faceoffs, while Halpern took only 2,
winning 1.  The Habs remain unbeaten when Gill scores, they are now 3-0
when he tickles the twine.