Game 43: Habs earn Dandy 5-2 win over Bruins

Updated at 10:38 p.m. with Carbo audio, new photo

Canadiens’ Mathieu Dandenault celebrates the first of his two third-period goals against Boston tonight.
Adam Hunger, Reuters

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That noted sniper Mathieu Dandenault came out of Tuesday’s press box, having been a healthy scratch for the first time in his NHL career, and responded with two goals.

Is that Guy Carbonneau a magician, or what?

Deflections, caroms and pucks bouncing wildly off the glass, a goal post and the end boards turned the Canadiens-Boston Bruins game into an unpredictable adventure, and a robust contest that surely left more than one bruise by the time it was done.

The Canadiens leave Beantown with a 5-2 victory in their carry-ons, having gotten two goals from Dandenault, singles from Tomas Plekanec, Maxim Lapierre and Alex Kovalev, and a world-class physical effort from blue-line pillar Mike Komisarek.

It was the eighth consecutive victory for Montreal over Boston, not that this one was a walk by any means. The Habs rolled out to a 3-0 lead, then saw the Bruins claw back to within one before they stretched their margin to two. Dandenault’s second of the game iced it.

Montreal improved its record to 22-13-8, and has gone 5-0-2 in their last seven games. Tonight’s game was the Habs’ fifth victory over the Bruins this season.

The Canadiens needed just eight shots to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Plekanec scored his 14th of the year – well, kind of – when he banked a power-play cross-ice shot off the glove of Boston captain Zdeno Chara and past Bruins goalie Tim Thomas at 10:36.

Lapierre, the former Hamilton Bulldog who seems very happy with his lot in life in Montreal, bulled his way to his second of the year, crashing Thomas’s crease 54 seconds later to bang home the rebound of a shot by Christopher Higgins.

The Bruins paid for Shawn Thornton’s cheap-shot punch at Habs defenceman Roman Hamrlik, providing the Canadiens with another power-play opportunity roughly 13 minutes into the second.

Thornton drew an extra roughing minor for having thrown a fist at Hamrlik, who was tied up by a linesman during a scrum behind the Bruins net. With the man advantage, Kovalev capitalized with his 19th, a bullet from his preferred faceoff circle to the short side of Thomas at 13:18 on a splendid cross-ice pass from Mark Streit.

Boston got on the board at 14:41, Aaron Ward getting a lucky bounce when his shot came off the back boards and caromed in off the leg of Canadiens goalie Cristobal Huet.

Milan Lucic closed the Habs lead to one 2:01 into the third, taking advantage of a poor clearing attempt by the goalie. From the faceoff circle, Lucic rattled a shot off the short-side post and, again, into the back of Huet before the puck bounced into the goal.

With all the momentum going Boston’s way, and the Bruins having come close nearing the midway mark of the period after Saku Koivu drew a tripping penalty, Dandenault again gave the Habs a two-goal lead.

Dandenault scored his fifth of the season – and first in 13 games – at 11:56 on a partially fanned backhand that fooled Thomas, slipping between his pads.

And then he scored again on a pretty give-and-go with Streit at 18:49 to close out the scoring.

The Canadiens head for New York and their Saturday date with the Rangers, then take on the Islanders at Long Island on Tuesday and the Thrashers in Atlanta next Thursday before returning home on Jan. 19 to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Mathieu Dandenault (right) celebrates a goal with teammates Josh Gorges (left) and Francis Bouillon.
Elsa, Getty Images


  1. mrstewart61 says:

    Update on Ovechkin signing: 13yr/124m!!! We can now concentrate on signing him as an UFA in 2021 when he’s 35.

  2. mrstewart61 says:

    Locke is not fast:

    TSN: At only 5-9, 168 pounds, his lack of size could hinder production at the NHL level. Skating is also an issue, as is his suspect play without the puck.

  3. Habs-Kat says:

    The Leafs can get a MUCH better package for Sundin than Halak, Locke, and a 1st Rounder. They won’t trade him to Montreal, obviously, but if they did they’d be looking for something like Halak, Kostitsyn (take your pick), a 1st Rounder, Ryan O’Byrne, and Locke. Montreal’s in no position to give something like that up. A team looking for a push over the hump to get the Stanley Cup this season would be (Detroit, Ottawa, Anaheim).

  4. mjames says:

    If Somlinski is going to have his coming out party tonight, maybe just maybe, he got the message and now realizes that he is going to have to bust his butt to get playing time. I am assuming that Carbo will insert him at the expense of Locke. I think the top three lines should remain intact.


  5. Sulemaan says:

    Given the last game in Montreal where the Habs pounded the Bruins 7-4 and Chara got thrown out of the game, the boys better be prepared to play tonight. Boston will.

    Although I’m far from being a Smolinski fan, usually players do well against their former teams (i.e. Kovalev against NYR). So perhaps he should play tonight. Give him 4th line duty with Streit and Locke (give the kid a second chance). Keep Dandenault in the press box where he belongs.

  6. mjames says:

    Well maybe the Ducks are your team. You should not feel pressured to stay with us.

    Personally I much rather win with skill than banging people all over the ice.

    I remember Pronger in the last Olympics. He could not do squat on the larger ice surface. That is why the Swedes and Fins took it too us. The Euros were too fast for the Pronger and his goons to hit.


  7. TradeRyder says:

    Yeah. Methinks you didn’t really read what I wrote…

    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  8. ebk says:

    two first in one day, wow :)

  9. idle says:

    I will gladly follow you

  10. idle says:

    No, that’s what you do in the prison yard. Maybe you should check your testosterone levels?

  11. Moey says:

    Should I bite??? Naaaaaaaa, I’m in a good mood today so I’ll take the high road.

  12. idle says:

    I wouldn’t touch Sundin. Who needs an aging good but never good enough player? We already have that in Koivu (one of my favorite players and hurts to say that)They are great players and great leaders and can take the team up the hill but just can’t get it over. If were looking to make a bang we need a louder one then Sundin.

  13. martin says:

    Thanks for the info. go Price get that game back together.

  14. J.T. says:

    Off topic, but nice to see Carey Price get it together and put up a 3-2 win in OT last night. He didn’t face a lot of shots, but the win has to help his confidence.

  15. idle says:


    Looks like I am behind the times with that comment :(

  16. Moey says:

    I do understand the dynamics of communication, I was just sensing a little bit of high anxiety in your posts.

  17. T-roy West says:

    I don’t know how many UFC fans are on this site but I would love to have another little habs summit in April. The UFC is coming to Montreal on April 19 and I was thinking mybe people on this site can get together and watch George St. Pierre take his title back and see Montreal win a playoff game(if they make it, knock on wood!). I would be in seventh heaven if this could happen. I would love to meet some of you. Please guy’s and girls, tell me what you think because I’m dead serious. Could this happen Dave?!!!!!!

  18. ebk says:

    you got me agreeing with the horse, scary thought.

  19. TradeRyder says:

    Bringing this over from the other forum:

    Yesterday’s Ovechkin rumour should’ve read like this:

    “Rumour has it, Washington Capticals sniper Alexander Ovechkin is seriously considering wasting the time of Montreal General Manager Bob Gainey. Ovechkin, sources say, is using Montreal as leverage to up the offer from his Washington team so that he could get the best contract out of his negotiations in the American Capital. Sources also say Ovechkin will be knocked on his sorry ass next time he visits Montreal. They will also refuse him entry to Chez Paris.”

    That’s the way the news should’ve been….
    Let the kids play… let the non-performers watch or walk.

  20. Smart Dog says:

    Good point Habs prof. You gotta figure Boston has been trying to see how other teams beat us… and most of them do it with speed. Maybe that’s their problem – they’re trying to play like they can’t. the only way they’ll win tonight is if Thomas is hot.

    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  21. Smart Dog says:

    Score a goal or two Ryder….. and shut up ALL the dawgs! Either that or flatten someone… that would work too! And don’t give up on the play – ever!

    Habs Fans! The FUTURE looks bright:
    Plekanec, Higgins, Chipchura, A Kostitsyn, Lapierre, Latendress,
    Price, S Kostitsyn, Komisuarus, O’Byrne

  22. 24 Cups says:

    Nice call Habs-Kat – glad to see someone is paying attention!

    I’ll tell you one thing, I’d rather have Ovechkin at $9 mil a year instead of Richards (7.8), Gomez (7.3), Drury (7.0), or Vanek (7.1). Washington had no choice – either sign Ovechkin or fold the franchise.

    The Original 24 Cups

  23. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Obviously you don’t understand DYNAMICS in communication.

    Nice horse by the way…I used to own 3 of them.

    1. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans.
    2. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”.
    3. Delenda Est Torontium….

  24. Moey says:

    Oh please, if he had signed here you would be kissing his skates.

    And one more thing, have you ever considered Prozac?

  25. Chuck says:

    If you were close enough that adding Sundin would guarantee you an appearance in the finals, then I’d say give up a bit of depth in goal for an honest shot at the Cup. Problem is, there’s no proof that this team is quite ready to take it to that next level, Sundin or no Sundin… so as of now, the trade wouldn’t make any sense for the Habs.

    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  26. Chuck says:

    In a seller’s market, as Toronto would be, they hold all of the marbles. They’re not in a position where they absolutely HAVE to trade Sundin, whereas a team that believes that adding Sundin would give them a bona-fide shot at the Cup might be willing to part with a little more if it was to put them over the top. If the Habs were that close, I just couldn’t see Toronto not trying to squeeze Gainey for anything more than Halak, Locke, and a pick. Look at what the Fedorov deal commanded last season.

    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

  27. Bill H says:

    moowah! What a sweet puppy. LOL

  28. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    They’d like to get more but ANY GM with a working brain will not give up a “Sundin” type for Sundin…because he is basically a loaner, thats it…then he is gone. Ottawa wouldn’t part with any of their big three etc….

    So its youth and draft picks…sure your point is valid, 2 DEFENSEMAN from the DOGS, plus a draft (1st round) plus LOCKE.

    thats a good deal for them long term, which is what they need.

    1. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans.
    2. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”.
    3. Delenda Est Torontium….

  29. Bill H says:

    Everyone’s laughing at this one, but I don’t know why? Personally, I think Halak is potentially more than a backup goalie, and the Leafs could use a high draft pick. Not a bad deal if they think they can resign him for next season.

    But I am just not a rentaplayer type of guy, unless we are sending them away for draft picks. And I think BG is of a like mind. Why mortgage the future for a someone that will be gone in a few months? UNLESS…that player may be the final piece of the puzzle that will take you to that final series and a shot at the Cup.

    Is Sundin that player for Montreal? Big centre that scores lots of goals. Except for the team that he is coming from, its what a lot of people have been fantasizing about around here. Hmmmm. If he was Russian or Finnish and we could get Koivu or Markov to sweet talk him into staying, I’d go for it. But he’s Swedish, so what are the chances he’d stick around. Quite honestly, I don’t know, but I’m guessing he’d be gone, either to the highest bidder, or back to Toronto. And we’ve lost valuable depth in goal and a good draft pick.

    So it comes down to whether he can take us to the final or not. Next year, yes, this year no. Just a hunch. We are short on experience, character and consistency, at least thus far in the season. But who knows, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he is the missing piece to the puzzle. Maybe its worth the gamble. Its an intriguing thought.

  30. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    Latron stepped in and went at it?…he was accidently in the wrong place at the wrong time..thats what was going through his head…

    He should have came at full speed across the ice leaping over the net and double forearm crashing to CHARA’s head followed by several poundings while Chara was on the ground….thats what you do in that particular incident.

    as Souray did many times for us….now?

    Lord help us if it turns into that type of game…

    best case, Boston tries to skate with us (like the last 4 games) and we kill them again….

    1. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans.
    2. Your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”.
    3. Delenda Est Torontium….

  31. Chuck says:

    Well you can’t re-tool all of the positions at once, so it would make sense for them to address their most pressing needs first. We’ve drafted a ton of young defensemen, so it would make more sense if they at least wanted one of ‘em. And if Toronto thinks that they can’t get more than what you’re suggesting, then they really couldn’t trade their way out of a wet paper bag.

    “A Vezina banner must hang from the rafters!”

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