Game 58: Lucky bounce jump-starts Canadiens


Canadiens’ Carey Price makes one of his 35 saves on Wednesday night as the Panthers’ Brett McLean tries to distract the goaltender. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Updated by The Gazette’s Kevin Mio

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It took a lucky bounce to get them going, but the Canadiens were able to overcome some poor play to end a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 overtime win against the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night.

Alex Kovalev was the hero in the extra period with a precise wrist shot that baffled Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun as the Habs were able to salvage their trip to the Sunshine State. With the win, Montreal improved its overtime record to 4-4 on the season and outshot the Panthers 5-0 in overtime and 37-36 overall.

Vokoun had been perfect for much of the game, stonewalling the Canadiens’ offence until he bobbled the puck off a faceoff 12 minutes into the third period. That allowed Christopher Higgins to beat a Panthers’ defenceman to the puck and knock it into a wide-open net to tie the game at 1-1. It’s the second straight game with goals for Higgins, who had been in a deep slump before breaking the ice in Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.
Before the Higgins goal, things didn’t look good for the Canadiens as they were unable to get anything going, especially on the power play, which was 0-for-5 in regulation. The Panthers also outshot the Habs 36-32 after regulation time.

Carey Price was suberb in nets for the Canadiens, stopping all but one of the shots he faced. The only one to beat Price was a Steve Montador shot from the point that went off Andrei Markov’s glove.

The Canadiens were unable to muster much offensively in the first period, with their only real chances coming toward the end of the period. The first came when Andrei Markov broke in alone on Tomas Vokoun with less than two minutes to play after taking a pass from Saku Koivu. The captain assisted on both Montreal goals.

There was no scoring in the second period, but Koivu had a chance to tie the game 1-1 on a shorthanded breakaway with five minutes to go in the second period, but his shot was blocked easily by Vokoun.

The Canadiens return home for a game on Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers and then travel to Philly for a rematch on Sunday night.

295 Comments

  1. ClaytonM says:

    He had him out for face-off insurance, in case you were wondering.

  2. ClaytonM says:

    How does that work out? If you’re changing from EST to PST, you get 3 extra hours to rest and get ready for the game. As long as they fly out early enough, there’s plenty of time to rest. It’s tougher for western teams IMO.

  3. ClaytonM says:

    It might have something to do with Montreal being a Hockey Town, genius. You see, when you don’t have an NBA team to schedule your games around, it makes things easier for the NHL schedule.

    By the way, if any team is gonna bitch about their schedule it should be Buffalo. They play back to back 17 times this year. But I get the feeling your team is North of Buffalo.

  4. joe-hab-nuno says:

    I don’t think they would Latenedr for Hossa either. I hate him cuz of the media’s love affair for the guy and i think he should be in the AHL. After a couple of years there working on hi game , them send him up to see what he can do, only then i’d give him up if he wasn’t producing. He’s 20 and too oung to give up on but please go to the ahl. He’s not a Crosby or ovechkin were he can come to the big show and show his stuff. Only in Montreal where your name sound like Lantentress and you’re up. Like Patrick Roy said last year, he’s only here cuz he’s a francaphone.

  5. dicktracy says:

    ever here of the ‘slingbox’?

  6. PureGuava says:

    The only piece of inspired coaching I have seen from Carbo in about 10 games was to use Smolinski more. He may be a step or two behind, but he is intelligent with the puck, and still may be capable of some offense. I would put him with Koivu and SK74 and put Higgins centering Streit and Dandy.

  7. Shiloh says:

    No it’s on West Bloor – between Spadina and Bathurst subway stops. Tuesday night is their wing night. I’ve watched a lot of games there.

    Hey Darcy, meet my friend Alex.

  8. Shiloh says:

    No Sorry needed. Do you ever go to Kilgour’s on West Bloor to watch the Habs games? The whole bar is Habs fans – everybody wears a jersey.

  9. Ed says:

    Yes, I heard about that. It was three guys from Thunder Bay.

  10. vic says:

    I tried to download the connection for the t v but the download for for the tv show no files to extract.can you help.
    vicart@rogers.com

  11. 1010 says:

    So Higgins scored. Must have took my timely advice.

    GO HABS.

  12. 1010 says:

    Interesting quote from Higgins. So, like… if they’re not worried because if they play the right way they’re going to win then how about playing the right way rightta way. As in right now so this does’nt turn into a four game losing streak.

    GO HABS.

  13. Shiloh says:

    And that’s hard for him to do.

  14. Shiloh says:

    And just like the great guy who’s marrying my niece this Fall, you’re a Habs fan from the Rock.

    Three guys are walking down the street in St. John’s. They see that a new restaurant has opened and there’s a big sign in the window advertising Lobster Tail and Beer.

    “Jayzus”, says one of the guys, “my three favourite things”

  15. Shobud says:

    Some beautiful coaching again from carbo.. Latenderness on the power play… And when he puts on the kovi line he takes markov off and puts on the breeze..He gets worse every game..

  16. originalsix says:

    If you’re allowed to install applications on your work computer then you can do the following.

    1) Download and install TVU for Windows @ http://pages.tvunetworks.com/downloads/download.html?id=rdb (you have to accept the agreement, and it will prompt you to save it)

    2) Go to the TVU streaming link @ http://www.myp2p.eu/broadcast.php?matchid=6329&part=sports

    Click one of the green links, it will launch TVU and start to stream the game.

    Best of Luck

  17. Shiloh says:

    My glasses are fine and I didn’t comment on Huet. I think Price is the real deal, but I am basing my comment on what I have seen on RDS, what I saw in Hamilton and reports in the Hamilton papers. Healy said that he thought Price is playing too deep and that he needed to play more to establish a comfort zone.

    So yeah, I’m for real. Are you?

  18. Shiloh says:

    Price is very deep in his net – makes him look small. He is going down on every shot as well. Hope he pitches a shutout tonight.

  19. Shiloh says:

    How about even up for Latendresse?

  20. The Teacher says:

    I should have said Western Canadian from the WHL or OHL.

  21. Smart Dog says:

    On the other hand, our internal circadian clocks tend to run closer to 25 hours making it easier to adjust to time zone changes going from East to West giving Eastern teams and advantage in making that adjustment.

    Also a fact.

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

  22. The Teacher says:

    Ahh, good catch 😉 HIO

    This is in response to wd40’s post way below, for some reason I misplaced my post.

    wd40-
    “I think the euro comment is unfounded. seems to me, the “euros” have been carrying this team this year, no?”

    Yes it is kind of unfounded. The problem is we don’t have enough guys who want to be physical, so it is kind of crimping the Euro’s style a tad.

    I don’t want to make a “we need Canadian boys” post, but maybe it’s safe to say we do as we already have the European talent. We need to supplement it with gritty role players, whom are often Canadian and on a smaller scale American and European.

    Lapperierre would be a good addition, but he likes it there and I think the Avs like him as well.

    Hunter would be nice, but again, only if he resigns. I’m not a fan of trading assets for rentals.

  23. The Teacher says:

    It was kicked in with a clear kicking motion. IMO it never should have been allowed. He brought his skate back and swung forward to make clear contact that propelled the puck into the net. It was not a re-direct by any fathomable means.

  24. Chuck says:

    Conversley, you could say that the schedule works in their favour because they then have longer homestands:

    >> A seven-gamer that they have when this road trip finishes up
    >> A seven-in-eight gamer to end October
    >> A six-in-seven stretch to start January
    >> And a five-in-six gamer (the “road” gamer being in L.A.) to round out the season.

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  25. ClaytonM says:

    I see where you’re coming from and I agree for the most part. It seems Kovalev is the only guy who knows how to forecheck lately. Everyone else skates in the general direction of the puck carrier but never engages them one on one. They challenge the point man but never get close enough to force a rushed pass or shot. They send one guy in alone to forecheck so even if it was successful in causing a turnover, they’re in the neutral zone and it just delays things. It’s frustrating to watch.

    But what guys like Begin might be afraid of is to be seen as neglecting their backchecking assignments, something Carbo & Co. are big on. They need to release the hounds and go for it.

  26. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    the schedule cannot and will not EVER be fair…
    have you looked at a map lately?

    but let me say this…EVERY EASTERN team that has to fly WEST is at a DISADVANTAGE, because of TIME ZONES and HEADWINDS which make the flight LONGER.

    now thats a FACT.
    ———
    1. BREEZE MUST NOT SEE THE ICE AGAIN
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  27. joe-hab-nuno says:

    yesterday was clearly akicking motion

  28. joe-hab-nuno says:

    a few a couple of times….i remember a few times that only a hand full showed up, even one time Muller had to join.
    I pretty sure he’ll be traded, i think Montreal is one tean on the top list but i am 100% sure Ryder is not involved, more like Higgins in package. I don’t think i’m ready to part with Higgins i really like his attitude.

  29. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    like they don’t know by now…

    funny thing is CARB and GAINEY (by their actions) DO NOT KNOW.
    ———
    1. BREEZE MUST NOT SEE THE ICE AGAIN
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  30. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    but the play is to make the HIT…when they turn they are already out of the play and they did NOTHING.

    The game is 60 minutes, and if our hitters aren’t hitting then who do you think will be worn out first? US.

    so when BEGIN and company turn away from a hit, the opposition can play with a free mind, no fatigue, no fear…turns into their game.

    that is why we cannot play 60mins, our top players are being worn out because our grinders/hitter are not doing their job.

    We don’t need Begin and company to be fresh in the third…we need Kovy,Kosty, Koviu’s to be though…

    ———
    1. BREEZE MUST NOT SEE THE ICE AGAIN
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  31. joe-hab-nuno says:

    yesterday i posted that i think it’s the first time i saw a team trying to protect a 2-2 tie with 15 min left in the 3rd period….

  32. Chuck says:

    Any Habs miss the game day skate? :)

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  33. Chuck says:

    …or are in a tie.

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  34. Chuck says:

    Great. Thanks for giving all of our secrets away.

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  35. Chuck says:

    If I remember correctly, the rule was changed to it having to be a distinct kicking motion for the goal to be disallowed, which of course would be easier to spot than a subtle re-direct with the skate… all to make the call more black-and-white rather than a judgement call.
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  36. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Now for the Hab topic

    I only pray for 2 things each time they play.

    1- Play hard for 60 min

    If they win , i’m the happiest hab fan out there.
    If they lose, I’m proud they played hard and tried.

    2- Stop trying to shut down teams when you have a lead

  37. krob1000 says:

    I like the idea of the skate not being able to leave the ice. The “kicking motion” stuff is stupid. If the skate stays on the ice-goal.

  38. joe-hab-nuno says:

    Sorry guys, but this is of topic on the habs, but what do you guys think about that crap goal for Carolina. I talking about the goal of the skate. The oficial ruling was that the puck went in because of the velocity of the pass and not caused by the skate. I for one think it was a stupid ruling. I for one beleive if you move your foot in such a way to try and redirect the puck in the net, the goal should not stand. I guess the idiots in the war room in TO had to award the goal because of the goal Sundin scored a few games back and was good. Just total crap, what idiots run this league.

  39. JF says:

    I can’t stand hearing players say things like, “We weren’t skating the last three games” and “We were outworked.” What are they paid for if not to skate and work hard for 60 minutes? There are no excuses for not coming out hard and giving it everything they’ve got. If we do that, we have a chance to beat any team in the league; if not, the teams below us will win easily and we’ll see our playoff hopes slipping away.

    I’m going to miss tonight’s game and, they way the team has been playing lately, I’m not sorry. I just hope that when I come home, I’ll learn that they’ve won or at least gotten a point. I can’t stand watching them play badly.

  40. Scotty90 says:

    and I was thinking it was the beer!

    see ya Krob.

  41. ClaytonM says:

    It tells me they choose to stay in the play at times instead of going for the hit. While I disagree with that at times, especially in the 1st period when they should be softening up the other team, I can see why they decide to stay in the play. The fact is if we had Charlie Manson on a 4th line it still wouldn’t stop our opponents from playing the body against our finesse skaters. The playoffs are almost here, and every Eastern team we face will be fighting for a spot. What we need is to have our guys, Koivu, Plekanec, Kovalev, Kostitsyns and Higgins, adjust to the new style ASAP. Otherwise we’ll limp into a playoff spot and get bounced quickly.

  42. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    HOW TO BEAT THE HABS:

    TARGET THEIR TALENT PLAYERS:
    1.Elbow Kovalev in the head
    2.Drop the gloves and punch KostyjR in the head
    3.Toss Koivu around like a rag doll with many facewashes
    4.Look at Brisbrois menacingly and he’ll cower in the corner on his knees saying the rosary.
    5.Shoot flimsy pucks at the net

    GUESS WHAT COMPETITION…NO BODY WILL COME NEAR YOU FOR DOING ANY OF THOSE 5 items…you are SAFE!

    You are safe when you play the HABS.

    Message to BOB/GUY…rectify this problem and the TALENT will flourish and we will be true contenders.

    oh…and of course if we score 3-4 goals in a flurry (as we’ve done) then we DO have a chance to win even with those 5 items against us….to bad that doesn’t happen every game.

    ———
    1. BREEZE MUST NOT SEE THE ICE AGAIN
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  43. habfan53 says:

    Gee nightmare after reading all the Brisebois bashers on this site for the last 48 hours I thought we were knee deep in defencemen. But I agree 2 out of the lineup (Hamrlik and O’Byrne) and we can’t win.
    Although I think lack of effort has a lot to do with it as well.

  44. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    and there is a reason for “LACK OF CONSISTENT EFFORT”.

    our talent players are being slapped around and there is no GRINDERS OR FIGHTERS to clear the air and make space for them.

    as I said previously, I CAN’T EVEN REMEMBER THE LAST TIME BEGIN or KOSTOP THREW A BODY CHECK….WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU??????

    ———
    1. BREEZE MUST NOT SEE THE ICE AGAIN
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  45. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    you can wake up from your dream now..
    ———
    1. BREEZE MUST NOT SEE THE ICE AGAIN
    1. Thank GOD we have Alex Kovalev…..at his PRIME
    2. The BELL CENTRE should be rebuilt to sit 80,000 fans
    3. Your’re not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”
    4. We will win the CUP in 2009

  46. Vid says:

    So what exactly is the all time Panthers vs Habs win-loss record?

    I can’t seem to find it anywhere. It’d be interesting to see the lifetime win-loss records of the Habs vs every other NHL team too.

  47. Praj12 says:

    Yes it is time for Price to take the bull by the horns and make hueT sit for a while. Price cannot complain if hueT is getting all the games. He needs to step it up and start a winning streak of his own. Focus man focus!!

  48. Habhopeful says:

    jeff carter would be a good addition for 3rd or 4th line checker, he’s rfa, boyle could be a good addition on D, he’s ufa and last nite he stated on rds that Montreal would be a team he would play for, hossa would be a good add on the wing but i think jokinen would help this team 100%, then again, i know im just ****ing around and bored

  49. HabsFanInTampa says:

    I totally agree, Oleg. I watched the game in person last night and the Habs looked a step slower than the Lightning after the first period and the remainder of the game. Whose bright idea was it to fly into the Sunshine State on Sunday morning? Like you said, the Canadiens don’t particularly play well in Florida and the partying Sunday evening into Monday morning certainly didn’t help. We lost two points to a team in last place in the Eastern Conference. Not acceptable when the Sens are running away with the Division AND conference AND acquiring playmakers.

  50. Wayne says:

    I agree with Mr Lube
    I’m gonna go off on a small tangent here and say this;
    While i feel that comment wasn’t offensive, i do feel it to be completely unfounded in today’s NHL. On the whole, European players (by that i mean; Scandanavian, Russian, German, etc) have matched and in many cases, surpassed not only the skill level of N.American players but now, also, display real GRIT coveted by so-called nay sayers in the game who still hold the “Euros are wimps” attitude. Look at Malkin, Ovechkin, Sundin, Koivu, Kovalev,.. the list goes on. These guys take a lickin’ every night comparable to the Iginlas the Shanahans and Lecavaliers (wow, sounds like “Braveheart 3001”). The bottom line is, the notion just doesn’t hold true and in my opinion, went down with Samuelsson the day Domi dropped him.
    Sure, European players are less likely to drop the gloves but it may be that it has more to do with the hockey system players are brought through over there,.. than outright cowardice.

  51. Oleg Petrov says:

    I have to question the decision to schedule the rookie dinner on the florida trip – the Habs traditionally don’t play well in Florida and this is the time to schedule a party paid for by the rookies? why can’t they do it earlier in the year, maybe just before the all-star break as opposed to giving away 2 points? The habs were totally dominated last night and you have to think the rookie party played a role in the players performance. The vets on the team need to be smarter than that.

  52. nightmare_49 says:

    Habhopeful – What will the other teams do while this is happening , stand and applaud. First of all , the Habs are not deep in defensemen and won’t be for two years when the new flock of “D” we have drafted start to graduate. then we have the salary cap issue. I don’t think this is possible but it was good thinking on your part. Panthers owner has talked to Jokinen to try and smooth things over so he may not be available till summer if he is.

  53. Oleg Petrov says:

    I, for one, am enjoying the journey that is the Montreal Canadiens this season. I thought last night was brutal and I fully expect the ups and downs of the season. I don’t expect a Stanley Cup this year but I am looking forward to the playoffs.

    The maturation of the rookies, the struggle to push out some of the vets is all part of it. They can’t just hand it over to the rookies – you have to push and push hard to get a Smolinski or a Brisebois out of the lineup. It may not be fair but when the rook finally arrives, he will be stronger for it because of the work that was required instead of having it handed to him.

    Chipchura is going to be a stronger player for being sent to Hamilton, same with O’Byrne, Valatenko – they have to learn how to work and what it takes and this season is part of the lesson. If somebody had said the habs would be challenging for first overall in the east when the season started, wouldn’t everybody have taken that? and they are doing it in a year where they are breaking a lot of rookies onto the team.

  54. Oleg Petrov says:

    Don’t forget – Atlanta wants to push for the playoffs as well so Waddell might have been scouting Tampa Bay, who are thought to be interested in moving some of their players.

  55. Scotty90 says:

    Hi Krob, during the game last night they showed Wadell, and they also showed Gainey who, by the way, was on his cell phone….. and I’m sure he wasn’t ordering pizza. So, I am crossing my fingers.

  56. nightmare_49 says:

    Shiloh – You must want to see those pictures of Carbo really bad.

  57. nightmare_49 says:

    The toronto sports network have hired John Ferguson Jr. as an analyst and are you surprised,lol.

  58. Rastaman says:

    Maybe Price can start to live up to the billing and steal one for us tonight…god knows we could use it. We had a similar downward spiral earlier in the season with the Dallas debacle, the bad loss to Detroit and then the Caps OT loss. I thought at that point that we’d fade away, but the boys surprised me and had a HUGE January. Let’s see how we deal with this 2nd round of adversity. I still believe this is a playoff team and definitely one that can play with anyone in the East in a 7 game series. We’ll see.

  59. krob1000 says:

    Hi Scotty,

    Me too…..it is really hard type like this though (cross fingered).

  60. wd40 says:

    I think the euro comment is unfounded. seems to me, the “euros” have been carrying this team this year, no?

  61. Shiloh says:

    I hope he sits Latendresse and Brisebois.

  62. Cable Guy says:

    Waddell was at this game last night. There must be something to therumours and it must be serious for the GM/Coach to be checking out the Habs. If they are going to pull this deal I wish they would do it soon.

  63. wd40 says:

    i have to agree with you on this. there’s a ton of parity in the NHL right now, especially in the East where you’ve got 10 points between Ottawa in 1st spot, and Buffalo in the 8th and final playoff spot. 5 more teams are within striking distance, and quite honestly, even the Leafs and TB are surging (ok, perhaps a strong word ;)).

    i think you hit the nail on the head, the biggest difference i can see in the past week and a half is the lack of consistent effort and desire. that, and perhaps Huet is looking a little tired (although i have to say he pulled off some amazing saves last night).

  64. Habhopeful says:

    I would like to see this, now this is just my opinion and i think it would look good no need to take this seriously, I’d like to see if anyone else would be willing to do this…Koivu, ryder and O’byrne trade for Olli Jokinen and during the off season sign Marion Hossa, next year would be the perfect time to win a cup (knock on wood) i still love koivu, but i think he needs a change, ryder definatley needs to go and O’byrne is expandable as we have good defensive prospects coming up…Better to sign hossa during trhe off season so we dont have to give anyone else up, and hopefully pick up some grit along the way…anyways we better win tonight, i’m gonna be positive about tonight and say we win 4-2…Just Watch

  65. HABZ 24 says:

    flo’s hot latley, we never play good in flo.give halak a shot.come on guys get it going.

  66. planet habs says:

    I’m really frustrated with this team. Hey we’re losing to teams in 14th and 15th place. Why can’t this team play 60 minutes of hockey? it’s one thing to lose when you put in the effort, but when you don’t, and have that lazy lacklustre effort, it drives mr crazy. I just can’t take 2 years in a row without playoffs. There’s no reason not to compete.
    Maybe too many euros on this team.


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