Game 60: Habs sweep Flyers, tied with Senators

Alex Kovalev is congratulated by teammates for his first-period goal, his 27th of the season.
Len Redkoles, NHLI via Getty Images

Lineups | Preview | Game Summary | Event Summary | Boxscore | Boone

Who needs the Boston Bruins when the Canadiens have the Philadelphia Flyers to kick around?

Twenty-four hours after blanking the erstwhile Broad Street Bullies 1-0 at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens skated to a 5-3 victory at the Wachovia Centre tonight to complete a four-game season sweep of the Flyers and hand the slumping home team their seventh consecutive loss.

And don’t look now, but the Canadiens, who won their third straight and 19th road game of the season, have jumped into a tie with Ottawa atop the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference, both teams with 73 points though the Senators hold a game in hand.

Montreal goalie Carey Price made 34 saves to earn his third victory in as many starts since last Wednesday and 12th win this season. Price yielded just four goals to Philadelphia in his three wins over them this season.

Alex Kovalev had a goal and two assists in a game that had many rough edges and featured some superb penalty killing by the Canadiens.

The Habs managed 33 shots on Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki, compared to the Flyers’ 37 on Price.

Kovalev, with his 27th of the season, and Philadelphia’s Mike Richards exchanged first-period goals, Kovalev’s coming first at 6:18 on a pretty, seeing-eye pass from behind the net off the stick of linemate Tomas Plekanec.

Richards’s goal, scored shorthanded, snapped Price’s goalless streak at 112:26, a span stretching back to the first period of Wednesday’s game in Florida against the Panthers.

Defenceman Francis Bouillon, in what was probably his best game in a Canadiens uniform, then put the Habs back on top with 1.2 seconds to play in the first on an end-to-end rush (that’s not a typo), finally whipping a shot past Niittymaki for his first of the season.

Bouillon’s goal followed the confusion of a vicious check laid on Sergei Kostitsyn in the corner to the left of Price, the ensuing jousting match involving Montreal’s Josh Gorges and the Flyers’ Jim Vandermeer, and it came one day short of the first anniversary of Bouillon’s most recent goal.

But Bouillon’s goal didn’t break the Flyers’ back, as a goal late in a period often does. On their first rush of the second, Philadelphia’s Braydon Coburn shot toward the Montreal goal, the puck deflecting off defenceman Mike Komisarek’s stick and floating like a knuckleball over Price’s shoulder at 34 seconds.

Michael Ryder responded, however, emerging from the press box tonight to put Montreal back in front at 2:15 with his ninth, cashing a rebound after a bit of scrambly action around Niittymaki.

Saku Koivu made it 4-2 at 10:10 on a 5-on-3 Montreal advantage, taking a pass from Andrei Markov to beat a sprawling Niittymaki along the ice for his 11th. Kovalev also assisted, his third point of the night, having also assisted on Ryder’s goal.

Maxim Lapierre iced the victory into an empty Philadelphia net at 18:36, his fourth of the season, before Riley Cote scored at 19:41 to round out the scoring.

The Canadiens improved their season record to 32-19-9 while Philadelphia fell to 30-24-5.

The Habs return home for three Bell Centre games this week – they face the New York Rangers on Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, when Bob Gainey’s No. 23 will be retired in a pre-game ceremony.


  1. LizardKing1967 says:

    And I suppose you have a better idea. What better player is out there, that we can A) sign to a deal, B) get a bonafide scoring winger, and C) not give up too much.


  2. mjames says:


    We have one super star and no supporting cast because we traded them to get Vinny.


  3. LizardKing1967 says:

    Glad I am not also. Wouldn’t want such a pressure job. OOps, forgot to mention…I wouldn’t make that trade unless I can sign Hossa to a 4-5 year deal as part of it.


  4. mjames says:

    Glad you are not our GM


  5. HKisses says:

    Yup!!! That’s a better post lol

  6. LizardKing1967 says:

    I think I might have to agree with you, but what would we get for him? How about this….

    Higgins, Streit, Yemelin, 1st rounder for Hossa


  7. Mike says:

    TRADE STREIT!!!! the guy can’t d. He doesnt have the hands of a forward. Has a good shot on the point, but so what. He gets so nervous when the opposition pressures him he coughs up the puck. For some reason sport “experts” love him. SO TRADE HIM!!! HIS VALUE WILL NEVERBE HIGHER AND WE HAVE NO POINT FOR HIM.

  8. LizardKing1967 says:

    I guess we shouldn’t be saying much anyway. Our beloved Habs are 2 points back of first place in the CONFERENCE, after all.


  9. LizardKing1967 says:

    I’ve always liked Cube. And, yes he is playing alot better now than previously, but someone has to sit, and the way Gorges has improuved over the last month or two, you can’t leave him out. He has matured enormously. I think we got the HUGE end of the Rivet trade. Also, if MK is Komisaurus, than O’B is O’Ceratosaur.You have to like the FUTURE big “3” Komi, Markov, and O’B.
    O’B has not played that many games, but for such a young guy, he makes some errors, but he is a BIG force.


  10. HKisses says:

    Cube out? no way ur crazy….he’s 5’6 playing like Komi’s size…..he has grit and always works…..i say Streit forward and Cube on defence where he belongs

  11. The Teacher says:

    Because we MUST win now and try every thing to do it NOW NOW NOW lol.

  12. 24 Cups says:

    Smart Doggie – why not just wait a year and get him for free?

    The Original 24 Cups

  13. planet habs says:

    halak should be the backup next year, but habs management didn’t treat him well, so wouldn’t be surprised if Halak wants out. I mean should have gotten a few starts. But if he leaves, we have Danis as a backup. Either way Huet’s days here, are numbered. he’s just not worth the money and besides, he won’t settle for being a back up. Can you see a backup getting 3 mil/season? ridiculous. better spend that money on a goal scorer or 2.

  14. Smart Dog says:

    I wasn’t so hot on the Cube last year, but this year the more I watch, the more I like him.

    I think this is a GREAT D. One of the best in the league. Yeah, that fourth line is like a left-over dinner. And I’m even less thrilled about reuniting the three lost amigos. But maybe Koivu and Ryder can BOTH hit the net tonight… just getting their shots on would be a step up.

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

  15. LizardKing1967 says:



    Does this 4th line REALLY look like we have depth??? Come on GC and BG. Get real. Put Smo and Kosto where thye belong. As for the “weapon” Streit is, put him with Gorges. Sorry Cube, odd-man out.


  16. Smart Dog says:

    I wouldn’t let go any of the players in my sig. unless it was for a marquee player who is likely to be in contention for the scoring title. Vinny is that kind of player.

    Tampa would need a Vinny replacement so start with Koivu or Plekanec. I would hate to lose Plekanec, but that’s likely. To round out the trade I would think might be something like:
    – One of: Plekanek or Koivu
    – One of: Higgins, O’Byrne, Gorges, top D prospect
    – Halak or Huet
    – 2 high draft picks (two first rounders or a first and second)

    This is a trade I would be tempted to do if I was Bob. Plekanec is a very, very special player and may reach elite level but Vinny IS elite level and with the youth Montreal has, for me, sending 2 good players, a goalie (which we have too many of) and 2 picks is worth it. It’s the MAX I would go. I would not give away either Kostitsyn AND Plekanec for example because all three are potential future stars. On my “untouchable list” are also Komiserik or Hamrlik. The only reason I would give up Pleks (and I wouldn’t want to) is I think we’d have to give up one that we definitely don’t want to and he’s our first-line center so they probably would demand him.

    But I would do something like that and I think it’s in the ballpark of what Vinny would command.


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

  17. N.B.habs fan says:

    Thanks for the info ED,man you guys like trivia hockey,thanks again.

  18. 24 Cups says:

    The Rangers beat San Jose 3-1 this afternoon which isn’t good news for the Habs. I thought San Jose might have taken this cross conference game. Oh well, a win for our boys will really make Philly’s life miserable now. By the way, If Smolinski is out for today then who is going to be our 4th centre?

    The Original 24 Cups

  19. LizardKing1967 says:

    Look, yes, I said I like Streit’s versatility, but a team is made up of 12 forwards (sometimes 11), and 6 D-men(sometimes 7). You got alot of if’s there. “IF” we lose a d-man to injury. “IF” we lose another to a major or game misconduct. Teams are not built on IF’s. I could say what “IF” we lost one forward to injury, and another to a misconduct. Then we only have 8 “natural” forwards left to play. Don’t think a D-man will take a misconduct, if they are already down to 5. I am not knocking Dandy, and I know he started as a forward way back when. But he’s been a D-man for ages. If there is no room at D, let him go. Put another young body, or trade for another “natural” forward.

    Also, it shows we have lots of depth at D, but we are un-deep up front like this.


  20. HKisses says:

    Damn i wish Vinny came here….i saw him at Subways two summers ago….and saw him driving his yellow Ferrari 360 beside me …aand lives pretty close to me too…would be mental if he came here….but then again who the heck are we gonna give for him?

  21. Jonnyboy says:

    Also thanks, it is really nice.

  22. Jonnyboy says:

    It is also $170 for the year or $15 a game.

  23. JF says:

    Haven’t heard anything, but Gorges’ flu must have been a very slight case, otherwise the team would have told him to stay away for fear of passing it around. He only missed one practice. My guess is he’ll be fine tonight.

  24. Blitzen says: is supposed to carry it online.

  25. JF says:

    If Price continues to play well and gets more starts than Huet, it would affect Huet’s trade value and might play into our hands in terms of re-signing him. No team will offer him a long-term multi-million dollar contract unless they’re convinced that he’s good enough and consistent enough to be a true starting goaltender. He hasn’t really shown that with us, but he’s great in short stretches. He’s what we need going into next season but he might not inspire complete confidence in other teams. In that case signing with us for another couple of years might turn out to be the best deal out there for him.

  26. Bean says:

    Who would you let go for Lecavalier?

    Personally, I think we’d have to give up too much (a big chunk of that bright-looking future you’re praising in your sig would go), but I’m curious what your thoughts are.

  27. habitual says:

    Al Strachan made a reference to this last night on Hockey after Hours. Where did you read this?

  28. habitual says:

    I have to disagree. Rather than being un-deep, it gives the team flexibility others would love to have. Consider, for example, a game if we lose a D to injury and have another get a major or misconduct. We’re not down to 4 D.

    Dandeneault was actually a good scoring forward when he was drafted. When he is in the line up he gives the checking line a little more offensive possibility than Nonstopolis and Begin bring (albeit that I love what Begin brings).

    Streit is a little too light as a D, and doesn’t get to use his speed and playmaking as well (save when he is on the point on the PP).

  29. Smart Dog says:

    Looks like a good line-up for tonight!

    Hey – did anyone else see that item on Vinny seriously wanting out of Tampa soon? What a shocker. Makes sense though. Now THERE’s a guy worth 7-8 mil a year. And I agree he’d look great in a Habs jersey… and contrary to what some might say I think we have the depth to trade for him. Uh-oh now let the barrage of big-time wishers begin!!!

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

  30. Smart Dog says:

    And don’t forget the birth announcements! LOL*

    Seriously – I agree. Thanks guys. Even more – thanks for listening to suggestions on how to make this work better… and for the articles and podcasts. I LOVE the podcasts – you can listen and do other things at the same time!

    (*Teasing you S-man of course… there is no bigger day in a man’s life than the birth of his child.)

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

  31. Maffu says:

    Smolinski out nice
    Kosto out alright to let Ryder play a bit since we have to trade him keep him seeing ice time
    Breezer out nice

  32. Ed says:

    I just got back from walking the dogs, and am now enjoying a cold one,as if it’s not cold enough outside. I like your hehe. Tee! Please forgive me, but I could not resist. “Hehe” just reminds me of somebody we used to know.

  33. habitual says:

    Shame on me for overlooking Pat Hickey too!

  34. Maffu says:

    You make a great point. Streit has shown he can score and set up superb plays, given, but Dandenault is only been given a somewhat regular spot as a forward because we’re waiting to get rid of him and hope he shows enough of what Streit really has to up his value.

  35. Hoegarden says:

    From CKAC – for tonight’s game;

    Smolinski – OUT
    Kosto – OUT
    Breezer – OUT

    Begin – IN
    Ryder – IN

  36. LizardKing1967 says:

    Think it was the Cube and Begin


  37. LizardKing1967 says:

    I have a question which I do not know if anyone has mentioned before, but it’s been bugging me all season. Why in the world are Streit and Dandy playing forward. What other intelligent team in the whole darn league has, not one, but TWO defencemen playing as forwards. Say all you want about Streit’s versatility, but how UN-deep is our team talent when we have two d-men up front. I would still rather see Begin and Tom the Bomb playing up there than two d-man.
    I do not have anything against Dandy and Streit, but come on, this is the NHL, not a saturday night pick-up game with the boys.


  38. Bill says:

    Best sports team-related site online, by far.

  39. Hoegarden says:

    Hi Suleiman,

    the only place I know of is below. You unfortunately have to sign up and I have not gone past this step.

  40. Hoegarden says:

    A long bow to a fine team of professionals. A great site to keep the Habs spirits up and exchange thoughts on the best darn sports franchise ever.

  41. Sulemaan says:

    Really good point about learning from the other posters as well JF. Glad you mentioned that.

  42. showey47 says:

    Possibly, but you can’t deny the numbers he has put up in the ways of g.a.a and save percentage. They still are decent numbers considering he has been inconsistent(very comparable to lundqvist who signed a 6 million per season contract). Huet obviously should not get this kind of money though. The only number in question is the number of games he plays in a season.

  43. OldGrover says:

    Damn straight – excellent site that has brought in an excellent community of people – great job to the Gazette (and to all of us 🙂 )

  44. Higgins21 says:

    Very good post and congrats HIO staff.

  45. The Teacher says:

    😉 I tried my best to avoid the word hehe

  46. JF says:

    Completely agree. I love this site, look every day for new stuff, spend a lot of time reading stories and comments and following links. I’d like to thank not only the staff, but also my fellow posters, many of whose comments are very informative and thought-provoking, and some of whose analyses (krob and ebk) leave my head spinning. I’ve learned a lot, and my passion for the Habs has grown deeper.

  47. Sulemaan says:

    Agree 100%.

  48. N.B.habs fan says:

    Good for you to post this.I agree with this site it has helped me alot,I learened to type better,spell better,learned more about the team and picked up on alot of good post and new friends.

    Thanks HIO staff,evan at age 56 I have yet alot to learn ,and thanks to the fans for the help to learn more about the team.

  49. Ed says:

    It is about the TEAM, but don’t forget how much we used to talk about the SYSTEM. I think that Price has been the system for the last 2 games. His play has been instrumental in getting 2 wins, when the team in front of him scored only 3 goals. However, be careful what you say, or you might be blamed for the JINX. Look at your hyphenated word, and realize what it means. It would be nice though if Price could duplicate that feat of last night.

  50. Sulemaan says:

    Does anyone know if the game tonight is on any channel besides RDS or Centre-Ice? Online perhaps?

  51. Shobud says:

    I think come training camp he will still be looking No one wants a guy that can’t hold up a team.. Its ok to have a bad game but not a whole bunch..Win two and lose three.. I bet you put him on waivers and no one will pick him up

  52. Shobud says:

    Thanks from me too.. I think its great to be able to post your thoughts even if we don’t all agree It make it fun to see all the diff. ideas.. THANKS GUYS

  53. The Teacher says:

    I think Carbo is hoping the Habs pitch another goal-less game for Philly.

    It’s about the TEAM.

  54. Ed says:

    You are right again. TSN shows how all players were acquired, and these 2 are interesting.
    Begin – 1996 was drafted 40th overall by Calgary. On July 3/03 – they traded him & Chris Drury to Buffalo, for Steve Reinprecht & Rhett Warrener. Then Montreal claimed Begin on waivers on Oct. 3/03.

    Bouillon – signed as a free agent by Montreal on June 28, 1998. On Oct 4/02, he was claimed by Nashville on waivers from Montreal, and then on Oct 25/02, Montreal claimed him back on waivers from Nashville.

  55. Blitzen says:

    Seconderered, this is great!!

    The only add-on I would like to see would be a forum where posters could start topics.

  56. Blitzen says:

    I was thinking the same thing. I wonder if Carbo isn’t silently hoping that the Habs win but that Price at least gives him a reason to start Huet in the next game. If Price shuts them down completely again tonight, what does he do for the next game? And if he keeps starting Price, is he getting a goaltending controversy? I’d rather he stick with the hot hand but I could see that this might ruffle some feathers…

    I’m thinking Carbo is hoping for something like 4-2 Habs with one softish goal allowed by Price.

  57. habitual says:

    Slightly off topic, but will you join me in thanking all those who make HIO possible?

    This is such a great feature from our friends at the Gazette. Think of all the things we get, free:

    Kevin’s one on one interviews.
    Dave’s great historical pieces.
    Podcasts with our boys.
    Mike’s game updates.
    Hot rookie Chris’s fresh perspectives.

    I’ve spent all Sunday morning reading posts, checking out leads to other stories, and just plain revelling in the pleasure of such a rich site for Habs devotees. What could be better?

    Thanks HIO staff. This site is extremely well done.

  58. HKisses says:

    Honestly any goalie can go into a slump,but tonights game isa real test. If he does well tonight,his confidence IMO will be very high…Which could lead Price to stealing the number 1 spot for the rest of the season….Don’t be surprised if this does happen,sending him down and bringing him back up is paying off…

  59. showey47 says:

    begin and i think bouillon, not sure though

  60. N.B.habs fan says:

    How the clubs were built:

    Phili Montreal
    drafted 5 13

    Free angency 10 5

    trades 11 3

    wavers 0 2

    Can some one tell me who we picked up on wavers ?

  61. mrstewart61 says:

    Few of us doubted Price, just are calling for patience. Still, it’s only been two games, granted he played really well. He could easily go into a slump. He certainly has come back with more of the attitude, confidence and positioning we saw at the WJC. We are fortunate to have both goalies!

  62. skoehn says:

    with how huet gets treated in montreal why would he want to stay…

  63. Ed says:

    Sorry, but I can’t resist. You said a huge contract. It’s almost like a huet contract. I agree though, and I for one think there is a good chance he will be gone after this season, especially if he wants the huge contract. Price will carry the load, and I am sure they can find a backup.

  64. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Watch a Bulldogs game allready with Halac in nets,awsome!!!! Halak is the peace of the goal-tending puzzle needed and Huet is the trade bait,that’s life ,dude.Allso ,hope we get a young spark plug like that Downey kid,he’s allso the real deal.

  65. showey47 says:

    It also wouldn’t be a stretch to think that he may be one of the most coveted goalies on the market this summer, but if there is a bigger name please let me know. He is gonna want a 3 or 4 year deal. Every one forgets that he is gonna be 33 and has only been in the league 5 years (including this one) with the first 3 years making entry level backup goalie wages. Its not like he’s been in the league since he was 22 and has made nhl money for 10 years. This is gonna be his only chance at a big contract and it won’t be a 1 or 2 year deal with a hometown discount.

  66. Ed says:

    For anyone who is bored while waiting for the big game, here is a site which gives all kind of information on the 2 teams. It shows rankings against division, and conference; records after a victory or loss; records with zero days off; average height and weight (Habs are heavier); Canadian, American, and European players: U.S. college graduates (they have 1 more than us); who’s hot and who’s not, etc. Price’s save percentage over the last 2 games is only .986. That is very close to perfection.

  67. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Can’t hold on to Huet one more season as he becomes a free agent this year and will look for a long/huge contract.

  68. Mike says:

    HOLD ON A SECOND. Wait 1 more year before you trade huet. secondly, i would keep begin as some1 to play every second game. He brings a dynamic to the game like no one else.

  69. Xtrahabsfan says:

    Pricless performance won that game for us,bring in Halak and let the trading begin. Good -bye and thank -you : Ryder,Huet ,Dandy,Smoke and Begin,enjoy your new surroundings!And for those fans who doubted Price,ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ….

  70. Ed says:

    When looking at the Team Leaders above, it’s like the Kovalev and Richards show, as they lead their teams in most offensive categories, and +/-. Price has been confirmed as playing tonight, and that should be a given after his showing in the last 2 games.

    I was wondering if anyone has heard any confirmation on Kovalev and Gorges. Kovalev does have a sore ankle, and all that skating last night could have aggravated it, but I hope not. As for Gorges, how bad is his flu? Could last night’s game have a detrimental effect on it, to the extent that he might be doubtful for tonight’s game. The flu does tire one out, and this will be 2 games in 24 hours.

  71. Shobud says:

    I believe we can bring some guys up after thr deadline I hope Chips is one of them.. It would be good to get a look at a couple of the others too

  72. wd40 says:

    well i’m glad i was wrong (never take stock tips from me) … looking forward to seeing Price again in nets. i am so pumped for this game. today we capitalize on those missed chances.

  73. PGHABS says:

    that picture is awful

  74. LizardKing1967 says:

    Why does he have to be a “rental”?? Gainey did speak to his agent last week. And, yes, I don’t like to give up draft picks, but if we keep it up, we won’t have a good one this year. Also, you gotta give something up for something. Hope u r not one of those guys who thinks we can give Ryder straight up for Hossa.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.