Game 59: Brilliant Price leads Habs over Flyers

Take this historic shutout to the bank: Carey Price clears the ice of a purse thrown from the stands.
Dave Sandford, NHLI via Getty Images

Lineups | Preview | Game Summary | Event Summary | Boxscore | Boone | Post-Game Audio: Koivu, Price, Kostitsyn (from RIS) | Carbonneau Press Conference

The Canadiens ended their remarkable week in a truly arresting fashion. But in a good way.

With Carey Price playing superb goal, never more brilliant than during a third-period 5-on-3 disadvantage for a span of 1:53, the Habs continued their 2007-08 mastery of the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, defeating their Bell Centre visitors 1-0 on a highlight-reel second-period goal by Andrei Kostitsyn.

Price, now 11-8-3 in his rookie season, made 34 saves in a stellar performance to record his first National Hockey League shutout. He had earned his second straight start following a terrific 35-save overtime-winning performance Wednesday in Florida against the Panthers.

It was Montreal’s third victory in three games vs. the Flyers this season, with their fourth and final meeting coming Sunday night in Philadelphia. And it was the Flyers’ sixth consecutive loss, equalling their longest skid of the season.

The Canadiens improved their season record to 31-19-9 while Philadelphia fell to 30-23-5.

Props to the Canadiens defence, which played an excellent game, and backchecking forward Alex Kovalev, who saved an almost certain goal by pulling the puck away from the Montreal goal-line during a scramble late in the game.

Canadiens forward Andrei Kostitsyn broke the scoring ice at 3:52 of the second period on the power play with a goal you’re likely to see a dozen times by weekend’s end.

Linemate Kovalev dipsy-doodled deep into the Flyers zone then fed Kostitsyn, whose first try was blocked by Philadelphia goalie Antero Niittymaki.

But as Kostitsyn sailed though the air and bellyflopped toward the corner, he somehow swatted at the puck on the backhand, sweeping it back at the net off the shaft of his stick, and it trickled beneath the goalie, crossing the goal line in slow motion for his 18th of the season.

Price was the story the rest of the way, sensational throughout but off-the-charts magnificent in the third period, especially during the 5-on-3.

In fact, it was briefly a 5-on-2 with defencemen Andrei Markov and Mike Komisarek in the penalty box, fellow rearguard Roman Hamrlik losing his stick in a scramble. Price himself lost his stick in the same sequence.

The Flyers outshot their hosts 15-3 in the third period and 34-20 overall.

Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau made healthy scratches of forwards Michael Ryder and Steve Bégin as well as defenceman Patrice Brisebois.

Both teams chartered out of Montreal immediately after the game for Philadelphia, where they will close out their four-game season series Sunday night at the Wachovia Centre.

287 Comments

  1. rogus says:

    A rookie takes the reins from a career 2nd stringer…and the Habs just got way more dangerous!

  2. T-roy West says:

    Gainey wanted to sign Briere and Souray, not smart.

  3. martin says:

    no breezeby no problem. begin in smolinski out. glad to have huet and price. still whats up with saku?

  4. RC-51 says:

    its 9 pts difference from 1st in east to 9th place!!

  5. PGHABS says:

    Price gave me chills during that five on three
    _______________________________________
    Pessimism is a cowards way out.

  6. Sulemaan says:

    Add Drury and Souray to that list as well. All other players that Gainey went after. Guess the Forum Ghosts still exist and are looking out for us…

  7. waisguy says:

    What a game! Price was awesome. Go Habs Go.

  8. The Teacher says:

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    LMAO!

  9. Shiloh says:

    I hope you’re wrong about that. Price is fantastic – our guy for the next decade probably – but it doesn’t hurt to have someone like Huet with him as his career takes off. They seem to get along fine and Huet is no sulker. I’m OK with Huet being in there to give Price a rest from time to time. If we can get a good offer for Huet, I’m Ok with Halak as well.

  10. HabsAlltheWay says:

    Anyone notice that Briere’s plus/minus is -20? Thank God he didn’t sign with us.

  11. usversusthem says:

    He’s really starting to give me confidence in his abilities. When he played Washington at the beginning of 2008, and let in five, I was at a point where I was actually surprised when he made routine saves, because he seemed to let in so many shots he should have been stopping. But there’d always seem to be stretches, earlier in the season, at the beginning of games, where he looked unbeatable… good to see him finally make a whole game out of that kind of play. Let’s hope this consistency and solidity is a sign of things to come, for the rest of this season and in the years to come…

  12. planet habs says:

    Cristobal who? he’ll never play another game for the habs!

  13. Shiloh says:

    He’s really playing big tonight and is in great position – looks on top of every shot.

  14. Shiloh says:

    Yes – that was the best pass I’ve ever seen Latendresse make – too bad dandenault had hands of stone,

  15. T-roy West says:

    I wonder if all the guy’s that were praising Huet over Price last night on HIO are singing a different tune tonight. You know who you are.

  16. rogus says:

    Agree about trading f/a’s. No sense losing them for nothing, and they are mostly role players this year (other than Huet). Our 3rd line centre is playing in the A. His name is Kyle Chipchura.

  17. Bouleau noir says:

    Of course he’s not little in size nor is he on previous accomplishements,.. and so goes our hight expectations towards him,… but he is little in age and time spend in the cage with us thus giving Gainey no other alternatives than using both goaltenders as the best insurance against the team slowing down and ultimately against the dreadfull consequences of missing on the playoffs two years in a row …. an “unacceptable proposition” to CH President Boivin at the beginning of the season and the only factor worth remembering when we try to evaluate any moves that Gainey might be tempted to do or not at the trading deadline.

  18. notbigbird says:

    While I was all for trading Souray last year, I will disagree that we didn’t get anything for him. In a very real sense, we got Hammer for Souray.

  19. habfan53 says:

    I also expect Philly to come out hitting hard tonight.
    Facing a team that is on a 5 game losing streak with Philly’s pride is not good, i think it might turn into an ugly game one way or another.

    On the trade front I don’t see any player out there that will help Montreal win the cup THIS YEAR. To go out and get a player of Hossa’s, Jokinen’s or Sundin’s caliber is going to cost us a Higgins, Kotstysin, O’Byrne,McDonaugh or Valitenko and more.
    That is a big price to pay to play an extra round in the playoffs. The Canadiens have done a lot better than most expected.

    A lot of free agents (including Hossa) can see where Montreal is headed, this was not evident even last year. I think there will be more talking to Montreal this year and not just as a barganing tool.

    The way I see it he trades Ryder even if he gets a second or third rounder, Ryder was an 8th round pick 216th overall.
    Bouillon, Dandenault, Begin, Kostopoulos and even Marc Streit (9th rd 262nd) are expendible and can HELP another team. Packaged we might get a first rounder at worst a couple of 2nd,3rd or 4th round picks. For all you Brisebois bashers I have left him off as I beleive he will retire at the end of the year as a Canadien.

    Attack the free agent market this summer sign a top 6 forward a solid 3rd line centre and an experienced defenceman. An experienced goalie will also probably be necessary.

    Then make a run next year for the 100th anniversary.

  20. Verduner says:

    Maybe just maybe we’ll hear this tonight…more than once !!

    http://www.loreille.com/special3.html

    I know…they don’t play it anymore…too bad.

  21. Bouleau noir says:

    I doubt you understand the principle leading teams to transact at the deadline,… of course I could see a team showing interest for Huet… another one for mayyyybe Dandy but none really for Ryder…. but lets be frank the idea of one team taking them all three in a single gulp is pure fantasy.

    Gainey is single minded about making the playoffs this season,… its easy to predict any of his moves or non-moves if you compute in this a priori of his to anything else, that you, or anyone else might have in mind.

    In that light Huet is with us until the bitter end of this season and nothing elses matter,.. little Price might do very well or Huet might do very well…. the possibility that one of the two could do exceptionally well is higher with them both than without them both… this way of thinking is consistent with Gainey’s mindset and a priori.

  22. The Teacher says:

    Bingo, and we’re a team that keeps a lot of shots to the outside.

    Thank you Chuck.

  23. N.B.habs fan says:

    46-14-27,
    Good post,have to agree with you.I hate to see our players get pushed around.

  24. TommyB says:

    Why are we 4 points out of first?

  25. the_vipah says:

    Still going eh?

  26. N.B.habs fan says:

    Hi tonymr,
    To answer your question,I have been a habs fan for 50 years and dont plan on changing in the future.I just hate to see our players get pushed around.I know we are a young team and we will lose some games,but I still would like to have some protection for our small up coming players.We have a tough road ahead of us and I hope we dont have injuries.

  27. Chuck says:

    SV% is as much a team stat as it is a goalie stat, and it doesn’t determine the TYPES of shots that the goalie is stopping. A team with great defense that keeps the opposition to the outside, clears the front of the net, and makes it easier for the goalie to see shots will naturally raise the SV%. Unfortunately, if that team also gives up boatloads of shots, then by the law of averages the goalie’s GAA (which is a far more important stat than SV%) goes up.

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________
    “All bow down before the Komisaurus Rex!”

  28. Les-Habitants says:

    TSN has updated that, and Carbo has announced he has a full roster at his finger-tips.

    Hammer is playing, but he didn’t play cause he didn’t want to over irritate this rash thing he has.
    Cube is playing, and so is Gorges

    Everything is looking good folks.

    The Bobby Holik campaign:
    “He may not be Hossa, but he won’t cost us Higgins”

  29. Maffu says:

    goodluck buddy. bring your extra full wallet.

  30. howtathor says:

    I watched Hainsey last night, man can he move the puck! Sad to have lost him on the day he was supposed to have made the team. He will be a UFA next year but i think Columbus will sign him long term. That being said, Adam Foote may be available at the deadline, kind of like a Rob Blake and that veteran presence we need on the blueline.

  31. habsgod says:

    n.b one thing your failing to realize is that this team is young!!and they are going to go through these stretches!before you learn to win you have to lose first!!this is a young team and will only get better from here on out!!we weren’t suppose to be where we are !accoding to the experts!!but i said right from the starrt(because i could see all the young talent and the progression)that it was making that we’d finished no worse than 5th in the conference!and from here on in !in the next few seasons i expect to see this team finish 1st in our division and in the eastern conference!i will say this there is a lot of non believers in bob gainey,however i am not one of them!i think bob is the best g.m. we’ve had since serge savard!and he is a very smart man and won’t damage this team in any way!!we will do what is neccessary to help this team win!he’s surrounded himself with very good people!in trevor timmins,frank jay,david mayville !just to name a few!i think bg sees how this team is getting better,and better and will add to it to make it that much better and will make it a force and stanley cup contender and champion!!

  32. JF says:

    RDS is now saying that Kovalev represents “un cas douteux” for tonight. He’s supposed to skate this morning and than they’ll decide.

  33. Mike says:

    Carbo said kovalev does not have to practice because he is fatigue. He said i rather kovalev not practice so that he can rest and be well for the game.

  34. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Some fans say BIRON is to slow ,and I say that’s Bull….,he’s got a shot like Souray’s and he is way bigger and a good playmaker …everything we’re missing on the D rite now…I also would give him a shot at foward.

  35. tonymr says:

    Hi N.B.

    Does that mean that you’ll change your mind if they win the next few games? ;>

  36. HKisses says:

    Ya its wierd….but makes sence i guess cause Kovi wasn’t at practice so they saw those liens practicing…..Anyone have more info on Kovi playing tonight?

  37. Xtrahabsfan says:

    It’s so simple ,out of all the Habs to be resigned’Huet WILL COST THE MOST!,add to that in a package deal involving he , Ryder and Danadnaut ,well that’s a good all around grab for someone.We have three other good goalies and when developed some could be great trade bait in the near future.

  38. JF says:

    These lines do not include Kovalev, but according to both TSN and RDS he is playing.

  39. 46_14_27 says:

    If the Habs play with same effort that has got them this far for the rest of the year, they will end with 99 points. This will give them a playoff spot for sure. If they faulter as they have of late, it will be the same as last year, out of the playoffs. Is Gainey going to pull the trigger on a big trade? Who knows. If it’s not a big centerman it won’t matter anyway. Lots of blame going around for the goalies as well for the recent slump. The players are not playing like they did a month ago either. If they do their job, I think Huet and Price will come through. With a cup? Not likely but 2nd round this year would be nice. 3rd would be awsome. Finals only if Kovalev puts the team on his shoulders.

    Go Habs Go.

  40. HKisses says:

    Practiced Liens that TSN Listed…..Interesting ..Imagine this jump starts RYDER
    ——————————————————————
    Forwards
    A. Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Ryder
    Higgins – Koivu – S. Kostitsyn
    Streit – Smolinski – Kostopoulos
    Latendresse – Lapierre – Dandenault
    Defence
    Markov – Komisarek
    Bouillon – O’Byrne
    Brisebois
    Goaltender
    Price

  41. Will Longlade says:

    I feel compelled to weigh in on the trade Huet debate. Whether Huet is traded or not prior to the trade deadline is dependent on one factor. That one factor is whether there is a deal out there that would upgrade the Habs as a team. All this talk about loyalty and he deserves better is pure bunk. Hockey is business. If B.G. has an opportunity to upgrade the team, I think he will jump at it. That being said, there is not much of a market for goaltenders right now, so accomplishing this feat is easier said than done. At the end of the day, the Hab’s brass may be content to lose Huet to free agency in the off-season. There’s too much young talent in the system to allow the team to tie up 3-4 million per season in an ageing goalie.

  42. HKisses says:

    MANNNNNNNNNN…. im trying so hard to get some decent ticketas for tonights game….Its liek an EXTRA hard hunt for a buncha easter eggs…..My god….Wish me luck im going to go get some scalper tickets….

  43. mrstewart61 says:

    I’d like to see what he can do, but there are too many D already, even with injuries/flu. I think we’ll see him next year.

  44. mrstewart61 says:

    chris gratton

  45. mrstewart61 says:

    the ones we’ve got aren’t doin’ the job 🙂

  46. 24 Cups says:

    howtathor – It will be interesting to see if Montreal gives Grabovski another chance next year (or he might go back home for the money). He could centre a third line and Lapierre could move to the wing. I know that would make all our centres undersized (except Chipchura) but I just have a gut feeling that Grabs could turn out to be a keeper. D’Agostini might be the best bet of all the right wingers in Hamilton. We need to have more 4th line players that make $600000 instead of $1.5 mil. On the other hand, neither one of these players has the size and grit that we really need on the 3rd and 4th lines. I just hope we get something for them instead of letting them walk like Hainsey and Ribeiro.

    The Original 24 Cups

  47. Hoegarden says:

    Hammer is a definite yes. Kovy was also a yes yesterday but it’s no more according to RDS this morning.

    If Kovy is out, our PP (our only real weapon) is basically out as well.
    Price is in for his biggest NHL game tonight.

  48. howtathor says:

    Grabs had a hat trick last night and D’agostini looked pretty good too with goal and two assists.

  49. Hoegarden says:

    All this trade dreaming for Kowalchuck, Hossa, Ovechkin, Tom, Dick and Harry…..
    They only player I would include the sink with in a trade is Nash.

    Huet; think of him as Hackett. He was signed by the Habs to hold the fort while they were grooming Theodore as # 1.
    I know Huet was a “throw in” with Bonk but his services cannot be ignored while Rollie is tweaking Price. He helped put many points in the standings and rightly deserves a nice juicy contract at the end of the year. He and only he will decide where, unless Bob makes a move before the 26th.

  50. howtathor says:

    We’ve been doing a lot of scouting lately, so I think Bob is working on some form of trade. If not for a marquee player such as Hossa then maybe a tough presence such as David Clarkson. I really thought we would leave Tampa Bay with Vinny Prospel. Wouldn’t he look good with Koivu and Higgins! He’s been in Tortorella’s dog house for a while, much like the Ryder situation here.

  51. 24 Cups says:

    If Price wins the game tonight for us then I say start him tomorrow as well. He’s 20, he can play back to back games. I would imagine that Philly will come out and try and intimidate us tonight. That might work to our advantage. It will lead to a lot of penalities and our #1 ranked PP can test Philly’s shaky goaltending. Philly also has some injured players so it’s difficult to tell who will dress for them tonight. Gagne’s concussion has to be a concern and they would be wise to keep him out of uniform for as long as possible. Right now Philly is only 2 points ahead of the Rangers and Boston. This is a perfect time for us to take advantage of their woes.

    I haven’t read anything this morning but I sure hope that Hamrlik and Tom the Bomb play tonight. And as crazy as it sounds I would consider giving Ryder one more kick at the can this weekend before we trade him on the 26th.

    The Original 24 Cups

  52. Hoegarden says:

    The one player I’d love to see called up from Hamilton is Valentenko. I don’t have much to back him up except what I hear/read from different blogs. He is apparently logging over 20 mins per game and will nail anyone when given the opportunity. With the Flyers in town and Gorges out, why not call him up and see what he can bring to the table.

    Retro Mikey, or any HIO blogger attending BullDogs games, would appreciate your comments on Val ? Also, is Biron a definite AHL’er or is there a possibility of ever seeing him back up in the bigs ?

  53. fun police says:

    milroy? don’t we have enough milroy’s alreaday? how about giving locke a real chance like we’ve given lats and laps.

  54. N.B.habs fan says:

    hi smartdog,nice to here from you.I agree with you fully on we need help.

  55. N.B.habs fan says:

    G-man.
    I dont think that BG is there to save money,but it sure looks like it.If you think the team is getting better then why are we only 6 points away from 9th .Our fowards are being manhandled and no one to protect them .You will change your mind if we lose the next few games.I dont think they played to well in the last few games because they might have speed,but get kicked around from teams in the bottom.
    I love this team,but I have to face reality when and if we make the playoffs if we dont get help our fowards will be injured.then what.

  56. Smart Dog says:

    I hope Bob does make a trade – we absolutely need more grit, we need at least one more guy up front that is fearless. And we have too many (aging) bodies up here and too many guys in Hamilton that should see a little more action this year in preparation for next.

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

  57. the real vinnydj says:

    I really can’t agree with people that are saying Huet is struggling just because he’s had a few bad periods in the last 15 games. I can agree that Price is our future but let’s not damage Huet’s ego here. The market for goalies right now kind of mirrors the housing market in the states so I would take a 2nd round pick for Huet. If we want to hand over the reigns to Price, let’s call Halak up to play sweeper.

    You let Souray walk and got nothing for him, at least get your bag of pucks here. Even if we get a few kids that haven’t worked out so well to date at least we have something. Did anybody think Gorges would be playing the way he is?

  58. Shiloh says:

    When I saw a game in Hamilton this year, Janne Lahti was really skating – and he’s pretty big, too. He doesn’t show up on the score sheet too often though.

  59. wd40 says:

    morning. actually, i don’t really believe that’s much of an issue for him. he’s played in 37 games (64%) thus far (i don’t think he’s ever played more than 45 in a season) and i think he probably welcomed a bit of a break (he had a very busy February and showed some signs of fatigue). i agree with you though on the losses. to blame huet would be unfair. we need consistent offense from at least 2 lines, and of late, the D has looked very weak on the break out and along the boards in our zone. on the plus side, the Koivu line has shown signs of waking up, and looks like Hammer is back.

  60. G-Man says:

    Ribs was never going to develop in Montreal. Too many friends and too many distractions. The summer of 2007 was the first summer he actually worked out. I still think that one good body check and his career will be over because he still skates like a slug.
    As for losing Hainsey, you can’t protect everyone when there’s an entry draft.

    Gilbert

  61. G-Man says:

    If you think BG is in Montreal to save Gillet money, I believe you are mistaken. He is here to build a contender. You don’t do that by trading away the future. That’s what the Laffs did and look at them now. They are in complete disarray. When the right piece of the puzzle is offered, he will make a move.
    Many posters disagreed with the trades he’s made, but the team is getting better and better WITHOUT making any stupid trades just for the sake of making trades. These are contracts and players, not hockey cards.

    Gilbert

  62. N.B.habs fan says:

    I know what you are saying,but I dont think BOB will make any bid trades,he will work with what we have ,they do run a bussiness and do want to save money.I would like to see the perfect trade but,I dont get my hopes up, this will go on for a couple of years as long as the keep selling out seats.

  63. N.B.habs fan says:

    stewart61,
    What are your thoughts on the goaldies,I think we have no problem there if our defence were to pick it up and help the shots on goal.I see they are not blocking shots as much as they use too in the last few games that we lost.
    We are not scoring as many goals as we should because we are being roughed up to much.

  64. mrstewart61 says:

    I agree about the defense. I was looking at the shots allowed stat and Montreal gives up too many shots. They’re 16th in GAA, Huet is 9th in S% but the team is 25th in shots allowed!

  65. mrstewart61 says:

    I guess everyone else is asleep right now. Only us NBers are up!

  66. mrstewart61 says:

    I’d like to see Milroy get another chance with the Habs. Carle is looking good (GP 36 G 5 A 12 P 17 +4) and Valentenko as well.

  67. N.B.habs fan says:

    Has anyone considered what Heut might not want to stay in Montreal next year because of what is going on with the going back and forth line up.I think Heut is not the problem with the losses we had ,it is the defence and we are not scoring enough lately.

  68. Infanteer says:

    Wrong.

    Because of road trips, today’s NHLers have plenty of oppurtunity to party and chase purse, er, skirts.

  69. ClaytonM says:

    Ribeiro’s only having a good year because there’s no night life to speak of in Dallas. Put him with the Rangers or Kings and he’s out partying and chasing skirts all night.

  70. wild flower says:

    Why not just make sure we don’t give away the games future stars. Montreal’s generousity to the rest of league (Ribeiro, Hainsey, etc} is enought to make a Habs fan sick. This year our good nature may only be surpassed by Anaheim’s goaltending solutions for Pheonix.


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