Who’s starting in Philadelphia?



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Not bad for a back-up goaltender.

The Canadiens’ number-two-but-trying-harder is 8-0 career at the Bell Centre, where fans appreciate his skill and his easily chantable family name.

Jaroslav Halak has started 18 games in the NHL. He has three shutouts.

In his two starts this season, Halak is 2-0 with a GAA of 1.00 and a save percentage of .971.

"Hopefully, every time I play here I’ll keep the streak alive," said Halak, undefeated in the 514 area code.

He will be 23 in May.

Figure this team is set in goal for a while?

And speaking of emerging young talent, how about my man Josh Gorges. And afterthought in training camp – as was Halak – Gorges has emerged as a rock on the blueline: 20 minutes tonight, plus-1, two blocked shots, numerous heady plays to protect what was, for most of the game, a slim lead.

"Guy has been showing a lot of faith in all the D-men back there," Gorges said. "Any one of us can play in any situation."

Gorges said this was the best he’s felt in his career.

"When I get out there, I feel confident, I feel good about my game. My energy, my conditioning … I feel good and I’m having a lot of fun right now."

Gorges said Canadiens avoided a let-up and played a "solid two-way game" against an injury-wracked team that is falling out of playoff contention.

"We had to play a patient game," said Alex Kovalev. "It was pretty much like a road game. We had to wait for opportunities, we know we’re going to have them, and play good defensive hockey."

Christopher Higgins played an excellent road game on home ice. Higgins enjoyed playing with Sergei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Grabovski.

"They have a lot of skill," he said. "They don’t dump it in too much, they like to make plays in the neutral zone. So if you drive in the middle or drive the outside with speed, they’ll be able to find you."





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