D goes MIA

Canadiens fought back from a 3-1 deficit and took a 4-3 lead early in the third period, but then the roof caved in.

A bad cross-ice pass by Mike Komisarek: bada-bing, the league’s newest superstar, Evgeni Malkin, scores.

An ill-advised charge by Roman Hamrlik: bada-boom, Sergei Gonchar scores from the point – the Penguins’ second-power play goal … and one among many on which Cristobal Huet did not look great.

It’s a safe bet we’ll see Carey Price against Columbus on Bob Gainey Night. And maybe, after two five-goal games, we’ll see the Canadiens getting back to defensive hockey.

Which would please the Captain.

"The odds of winning when you’re down two, three goals are pretty slim," said Saku Koivu. "You can do it once in a while, we’ve had a few highliights. But I think right now we just have to relax and get that focus back, not think about what’s happened or what’s in front of us."

It’s the oldest cliché in team sports: one game at a time. In the case of Canadiens, it’s time to get back to their D game.

"At this point in the season, we have to realize we do have enough offence to score the goals, which was a question mark earlier," Koivu said. "Right now, what’s really made us successful is a defence-first mentality. And that’s what we have to get back to – not necessarily playing a fancy game or a pretty game but an effective one."

• • •

Their Russians were better.

First star of the game: Malkin, one goal, two assists, four shots, plus-2

Third star: Gonchar, one goal, four shots, three blocked shots, plus-one

Alex Kovalev: Two assists, but two giveaways (a generous estimate), minus-1 and in the box when the winning goal was scored

Andrei Markov: one assists, three giveaways, minus-2

• • •

Canadiens definitely hhad the worst Frenchman on the ice.

Huet gave up five goals on 30 shots, looked shaky all night.




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