Game 37: Joyeux, no L: Habs whip Lightning

Canadiens’ Maxim Lapierre (centre) celebrates his first-period goal with Christopher Higgins and Mathieu Dandenault.
Scott Audette, NHLI via Getty Images

Updated with links to The Gazette game story at 8:35 a.m. by Kevin Mio 

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Carbonneau Post-Game Audio (French only)

At noon-hour today, Guy Carbonneau’s curious, latest shuffle of his lines had Canadiens fans in a flap worthy of our gone-south Canada geese.

By 9 p.m., surely some of those fans were reconsidering the foresight – dare we say genius? – of the gone-south Canadiens head coach.

Montreal scored early and often tonight in Tampa, five different players finding the net behind two goaltenders, in rolling to a 5-2 victory over the Lightning. We’ll never know whether the result was because the Canadiens were rested, not having played since Sunday, or because the Lightning were weary, having played Wednesday night.

No matter what, the Canadiens improved to 18-13-6 overall in this fourth of a six-game road trip, while avoiding their third straight loss. The Habs are an outstanding 12-6-2 away from the Bell Centre.

Maxim Lapierre, inserted by Carbonneau on the Canadiens’ third line between Christopher Higgins and Michael Ryder, opened the scoring at 10:20 of the first period, picking up a beautiful Montreal zone-clearing pass from defenceman Mike Komisarek threaded through two Lightning players at the Habs blue line. Lapierre drew Tampa defenceman Filip Kuba in deep on the 2-on-1 break, then used Higgins as a decoy before whipping a shot past Lightning goalie Johan Holmqvist for his first goal of the season.

Guillaume Latendresse made it 2-0 just 2:29 later, converting the excellent work of Sergei Kostitsyn and backhand toil in the slot of captain Saku Koivu for his 10th of the year.

The Canadiens outshot their hosts 10-6 through the first 20 minutes.

Alex Kovalev eluded defender Brad Lukowich along the boards off the opening faceoff of the second period and caromed one in off the sliding Kuba’s skate, through the pads of Holmqvist for his 16th. It came at just 10 seconds with the teams playing 4-on-4, Latendresse and Tampa’s Shane O’Brien serving coincidental minors drawn at 20:00 of the first.

Montreal’s third goal brought out Lightning coach John Tortorella’s hook for goalie Holmqvist in place of Karri Ramo, who immediately proved to be more airtight than the netminder he replaced. Ramo was terrific foiling Higgins with a glove save on a shorthanded semi-breakaway about eight minutes into the period, Michael Ryder in the box for tripping.

Montreal held a 12-11 edge in shots in the second period.

Defenceman Andrei Markov made it 4-0 with his 10th of the year, that coming on a one-time slap shot off a cross-ice pass from Mark Streit, fed by Koivu, at 44 seconds of the third. The arena was still deflating from that when Tomas Plekanec took a pass from Kovalev, then fed the streaking Andrei Kostitsyn for the Canadiens’ fifth and the player’s seventh, just 24 seconds later.

Tampa’s Vaclav Prospal ruined Huet’s shutout bid at 6:15 when some botched coverage by the Habs along their boards left the Lightning forward alone at the edge of the Montreal goal crease.

Tortorella, as puzzling to Lightning fans as Carbonneau sometimes is to Montreal supporters, then put Holmqvist back in the Tampa net. His players might even have noticed.

Sloppy clearing by the Canadiens with 16 seconds left allowed Tampa’s Jan Hlavac to score the Lightning’s second goal.

The Canadiens will be in Sunrise, Fla., Friday night to take on the Florida Panthers, then will conclude their road trip on Sunday in New York vs. the Rangers.

162 Comments

  1. T-roy West says:

    It’s about a 20 minute drive north of Miami like the person said on your first post!

  2. PattyBoy31 says:

    about koivu, i noticed that too, I don’t think they’d tell a player he’s going to be traded until the very latest, so i doubt thats it. I think it may be the fans calling for him to be traded, and the whole language thing adding up. And you never know what really goes on in the locker room

  3. CHsam says:

    Ouch. Yeah, his face looked pretty ashen as the game wore on. Oh well, we win.

  4. NEWFOUNDLAND DOG says:

    Troy, Where is that near. What major city etc?

  5. The Teacher says:

    That’s my point! 😛 I’m pleasantly surprised!

  6. Mattee. says:

    Gorges has been playing great. He has had one or two shaky starts so far and one costly mistake all year. We still don’t know how much potential this kid has and there may be more to his game than we give him credit for.

    As for Koivu, I hope he stays but he deserves to be on a contender. He isn’t getting any younger. If he does get traded, I don’t think a single fan will be angry with him. Koivu brought his best for us.

    I Heart “System.”

  7. The Teacher says:

    Expected mostly negative statements from you.

    Ryder did not play terrible. Koivu is apparently sick.

    Yes, Carbo is a bonehead for playing Brisebois over anybody on the roster, and Gorges played excellent tonight.

    and yes, effort is key. always.

  8. The Teacher says:

    Apparently it was reported on CJAD

  9. CHsam says:

    Is this true??

  10. The Teacher says:

    I don’t think I read a single comment about someone wanting Lapierre out. I think I saw one very inane post from someone wanting Lats out. Most people were ticked off that Chipper got sat, and that 8 defence-men were dressed. I’ll give them 7 (Dandy is now a forward)

  11. The Teacher says:

    Wow, Tortorella just got fired!

    Replaced by Bob Hartley

  12. The Teacher says:

    I noticed you never responded to my reply to your post below that pretty much closed up shop for you on this subject?

  13. mjames says:

    What rock did you crawl out from under. Typical provincial thinking. Your comments are not only off base but insulting. You are the one that is narrow minded.

    For your information this Oveckin business started with a Jack Todd column. Todd was wondering out loud in his column if Oveckin would ever play for the Canadiens. It had no basis, genius.

    mjames

  14. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Whoever you are, take a chill pill because you have no clue about this team and definitely zero about Gainey.

  15. The Teacher says:

    I think we all just wanted to see the same effort!

  16. Mattee. says:

    umm, well when you tell people they have half a brain, it kind of makes you seem like you’re above them. Was that your angle?

    I Heart “System.”

  17. Mattee. says:

    We kind of talked about this on BB. The bottom line is Markov was honest plain and simple. 52% tax is ridiculous and stating it doesn’t make him an arse. Not even close. Unlike Brunet, I don’t think he should put his head down and shut his mouth. Remember, he could have gone anywhere else and only taken a 33% cut or less! He stayed because he loves Montreal. But if you don’t like Montreal, 52% would scare anyone away.

    I Heart “System.”

  18. WindsorHab-10 says:

    For all the posts earlier today that wanted Chipchura in and either Lappierre or Latendresse out, what do you think after tonight’s performance? Happy with the win, I just hope they bring the same game and effort tomorrow night.

  19. Drive_4_25 says:

    Your absolutely RIGHT! If he was joking.. But unfortunately the way they explained the story on RDS was that there was no Humour intended on his part, But, maybe he should be given the benefit of the doubt…considering the media’s history here! GOOD POINT!

    “God is a HABS fan whose still pissed at the ROY trade!!!”

  20. Drive_4_25 says:

    Holier then thou rant” …What are you talking about I said absolutely NOTHING about ME!

    Try thinking BEFORE you WRITE something!!

    And when you RE-READ the comments you were attempting to shaft me on!! You’ll see that All I was saying was for a player to say something negative about where he’s playing simply SUCKS for team morale! And if you disagree, we’ll that’s your perogative… but you’d be wrong!

    “God is a HABS fan whose still pissed at the ROY trade!!!”

  21. oshawahabsfan says:

    Did you ever consider Markov may have been joking about what he said about Ovechkin. You must be forgetting that Markov insisted that he be signed in Montreal, he loves playing here as much as any player on our team. Like most things said to the media this was probably said in a different context and you’re making a big deal out of nothing.

  22. Fer_hab says:

    Drive at 25. B4 you go on your holier then thou rant. Change your f’en pic please. HOW DARE YOU PHOTO SHOP YOUR FACE ON YO ROY”S. Absolutley TASTELESS

  23. paul b says:

    carb.will raise the banner (: (soon)
    GREAT WIN BOYS!!!!!!!!!!! carb. must of done something to get them going,so lets enjoy the win and stop the name calling.

  24. The Teacher says:

    Because we have free health care for everyone, among other things.

  25. CHsam says:

    ooof. Huet looked shaky last 20 seconds, thankfully he can still sit on a puck

  26. CHsam says:

    Oh great hit Ryder. bah

  27. slamtherimtim says:

    we should be beating these losers , if we lost this game it would be a huge story tomorrow , stop thinking the habs are gonna be a good team , the are aerage at best and they should consider trading some of the losers playing for them while theyre hot before they get ice cold again ,,, markov is probaly mad because gainey has done nothing to improve the team over last year , which im sure he told him he would do , GET RID OF GAINEY before its to late , we got timmins , hes the one doing all the work

  28. Sulemaan says:

    I really enjoyed this conversation Drive_4_25. Thanks for stopping by.

  29. T-roy West says:

    Hey Newfoundland Dog:

    The Florida Panthers play in Sunrise,Florida – #1 Panther Parkway, cheers!

  30. The Teacher says:

    Has he done anything to detract from that? No? i’m sure Ovechkin would know all the details of his tax bracket before he even considered moving here. Helloooo We live in the 21st century here!

    I don’t think anything is wrong with me, do you?

    Do you complain about your taxes? do you complain about the crappy snow removal? Do you complain about the crappy services we get? Ok..so why can’t he?

    don’t forget, he CHOSE to come here! I’m sure that speaks volumes enough.

    He didn’t tell Ovechkin not to come because of that. That’s not how it went down. stop overreacting and trying to stir up a controversy over something you probably do every day, I know I do 😉


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