Game 61: Habs salvage win in Western Canada

Canucks’ Ryan Kesler is hit by the puck while standing in front of Carey Price on Tuesday night. Rich Lam, Getty Images

Preview | Matchups | Tuesday’s

NHL schedule | Boone’s

Hits/About last night …
| Stubbs on Twitter | Stubbs’s game story

• AUDIO: Jacques Martin, bilingual | Carey Price 1 and 2 | Brian Gionta | Hal Gill

• At a Glance: After losses in Edmonon and Calgary, the Canadiens were able to salvage their Western Canadian road trip on Tuesday night with a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks, the NHL’s top team. It was Montreal’s first win in Vancouver since Nov. 30, 2000, snapping a run where they went 0-7-1. The Canadiens jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period thanks to quick goals by some of the smallest players in the NHL. David Desharnais opened the scoring at 6:07 of the period when he was sent in alone on Roberto Luongo by a Benoit Pouliot pass. Desharnais made a little move and slipped the puck between Luongo’s legs. Brian Gionta scored about a minute later when he gathered a rebound from a P.K. Subban shot and slid the puck into the open side of the net. Scott Gomez collected his 500th career assist on Gionta’s 22nd goal of the season. Carey Price put his team in trouble early in the second period when he was called for delay of game after shooting the puck over the glass. Only 26 seconds later, Henrik Sedin scored to cut Montreal’s lead to 2-1. Andrei Kostitsyn restored Montreal’s two-goal lead at the 10:36 mark of the second period when he won a puck battle along the boards and Lars Eller found him in the slot for a one-time past Luongo. It was only the Canadiens’ second shot on Luongo in the period. The Canucks closed the gap to 3-2 only 1:06 into the third period when Mikael Samuelsson scored a power-play goal with a slap shot from the point the Price never saw. Price made 37 saves to earn his 28th win of the season.

• What It Means: Montreal snaps a three-game losing streak and improves to 32-22-7 on the season for 71 points, three points ahead of the New York Rangers for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

• What’s Next: The Canadiens are back home for games against the Maple Leafs on Thursday and the Hurricanes on Saturday


  1. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Yeah, but JM just HATES those ill-timed penalties. He’ll screw your ass to the bench everytime if you do that. Unless you are Gomez, for some reason.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  2. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Imagine how MacLean must feel. Not so good, I’m guessing.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  3. SeriousFan09 says:

    Habs prospect C Michael Bournival with a nifty goal


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  4. Rainrocket16 says:

    These 2 goalies are something else to watch! I think overall everone played great tonight, for once we actually cleared bodies in front of the net, the 2 times we didn’t we got burned. What the hell can you do when the Zebras attack! Big Win, rest up Les Boys, The wan to make you Laughs are thursday!!

    That snake that bit Gomez is mean sonuvaBeach!!

  5. slapshot777 says:

    AK46 had one of his better games tonight.


    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  6. RC-51 says:

    Price looks like he’s determined! Maybe allowing 7 goals last time he played in that building is his motivation?

  7. Billyboy says:

    Yes, but it was a dumb penaly that he took. I could tell it was going out before the puck left his stick. A really stupid penalty which just might turn the game around.

  8. kmachabs27 says:

    its funny to see what we can do when we actually skate….canucks didnt know what hit them the first 10 minutes….maybe its our home jerseys?

  9. RC-51 says:

    Great start, let’s hope they don’t fall asleep and try to protect a 2 goal lead!

  10. bcheng81 says:

    is it me, or is vancouver wearing nameless jerseys?????

  11. kmachabs27 says:


  12. slapshot777 says:

    Wasn’t the greatest game, but I’ll take the two points and get back home to face the Leafs on Thursday.


    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  13. dre1744 says:

    We needed those 2 points   way to hang on to the win.   Stupid Flames    lose to boston!!!!!!!

  14. JF says:

    What a team.  We lose to the bottom team in the league and a few of days later beat the top team.  Anything can happen…

  15. dre1744 says:

    Why does JM  only play White  5 min  the kid  had  4 hits  in that time. I hate JM……


    Man did we ever get schooled in the face off circle tonight!!!!!

  16. Sportfan says:

    Are you serious ?? Wth is Martin seeing that we aren’t to penalize these guys ? I think Martin might be a bit of a  crack head

  17. Sportfan says:

    Thank god im a big habs fan wasnt expecting use to win but im very pleased we did 😀

    Cause on a persoanl stand point id like to face the ailing Pens cause image if sid cant come back it would be very interesting to see how we play and honestly im not down to play philly or boston int the first round. SO keep on wnning guys GO HAB GO

  18. SeriousFan09 says:

    Subban leading the Habs in TOI again, 26:17 and that’s w/o much PP time, JM used him in the go-to PK pairing and to match against the Sedins as a rookie who people thought had soft defence. Potentially, the best player out of the 2007 draft not named Patrick Kane.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  19. kmachabs27 says:

    desharnais or pouliot didnt see ice the last 10 minutes of the second period and the whole 3rd period

  20. LA Loyalist says:


    Well cheers to the guys for working so hard tonight against a very good team — and coming out with some fire in their belly. DD got the ball rolling and that was quite inspirational.

    Good job habs!

  21. SuperYogurt says:

    He’s played a grand total of 24 NHL games, and only 8 this year. Not exactly the kind of experience you look upon to hold a lead and win against the top team in the NHL.

  22. Trisomy 21 says:

    You know I’m becoming a real Pouliot fan, for how much ice time he gets I think he’s got decent points. The problem is why is he getting so little ice time? is he that big of a liability? Is Gomez really more deserving? Gomez btw is -17 and got 17 minutes of ice time today. I don’t have to remind anyone here how unfruitful he has been lately

  23. LA Loyalist says:

    in other news, Jacques Lemaire has righted the ship in New Jersey – they are 16-1-2 in their last 19 and Kovalchuk has points in 11 straight games. 

    I would laugh to see Devils sneak into the playoffs and blow Philly into golf season.

    My point is how important good coaching is.

  24. kordic says:


     Finally, I can congratulate and drink with the boys at the roxy instead of yelling nasties at them.

    Thank God for that first period and Carey Price. Subban played awesome too!!!

    For all you crapuck fans, just to add insult to injury, I’m first cousins with the aquilini’s and sorry to tell all of you. THEY ARE ALL HAB FANS!!!!!!!!!.  Paolo especially!!! he is like me. They bought the canucks for business reasons and for the show, but if they lived in Montreal, maybe things would be different. They are pretty cheap so i don’t think they would have bought the habs, but let me tell you on the outside they are playing the sad game. IN THEIR HEARTS THEY ARE SMILING LIKE ME AFTER 12 SHOTS OF PETRON PLATINUM..







    “The ghosts are gone. The Canadiens have two choices, try and win the cup or be French Canadian” – Ken Dryden

  25. LA Loyalist says:

    post of the day — though I think it’s “Patron” otherwise it sounds like Petro-Canada making vodka in their spare time (though maybe they do).

  26. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    So incredibly strong on his skates. Before scoring, he just bowled over the ‘Nucks d-man.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  27. HardHabits says:

    If the Habs can continue drafting and developing players from the later rounds I might have to rethink my tanking strategy.


    But seriously. How many teams are kicking themselves for not taking PK.

    Subban, Price, Pacioretty, Eller, Pouliot. That’s a decent of core young players to build a team around.

    What impressed me most with this game was that after the ‘Nucks scored to make it 2-1 the Habs didn’t fold or panic and score an insurance marker as well as continued to skate and press for more.


  28. Trisomy 21 says:

    Nice one. and I thought they said he had to work on his skating

  29. Habs_Fan_In_Edmonton says:

    Anyone else loving that diving effort by Gill on that late icing call? Amazing

  30. Trisomy 21 says:

    That’s the Hal Gill that makes me forget he was a Maple Leaf. He can be outstanding when that Gill shows up

  31. HabFanSince72 says:

    I always said we got the wrong Jacques.


  32. Mike D says:

    Yup, absolutely! The icing on the cake from that play was when he was skating back to the nucks zone for the faceoff and a few of the guys gave him the “nice play” taps, and Skillsie just looks at them with a serious face and says “let’s f*ckin go”.

    Tell me that guy doesn’t want to win.

    Some people give him flack at times for his lack of speed, but the guy always gives 100% and wins his battles way more often than not. Very effective defensive dman, money in the playoffs, cup experience, willing to pay the price, leadership, good team guy in the room, inexpensive, etc. I really hope we re-sign him this summer.

    – Honestly yours

  33. Mike D says:

    Dude……your avatar pic – HAHAHAHA ROTFLMFAO LOL

    – Honestly yours

  34. daveho29 says:

    They’re cheap alright. Did some work on some of their apartments last year and doing some more when the rain stops.

  35. daveho29 says:

    Well that was definitley worth the $100 I spent on my ticket. No voice left though.

  36. Mike D says:

    Sometimes I wonder if certain guys (like Pouliot maybe) are actually more effective as 3rd liners than they would be playing a top-6 role. Maybe some guys can be more productive playing around 12 min. a game instead of 20.

    I realize this is very counter-intuitive, but it seems Benny has been much better playing with the likes of Halpern, Darche, DD, and White than he was with Pleks, Gomer, Cammy, and Gio. Perhaps it’s a pressure thing or a mental thing, I don’t know.

    Personally I have no problem with this. I think having a 3rd line that can generate offense and give the guys an energy boost without being a defensive liability is a winning formula. Much better than having your bottom 6 be strictly checkers and bruisers. It also makes it hard for the opposition to match up defensively cuz they can’t afford to have a lackluster bottom 2 D pairing, or have their top 4 guys out there all game.

    – Honestly yours

  37. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Nice win to end this frustrating road trip.

    Parade back on.

  38. WindsorHab-10 says:

    A typival JM coached game, take a 2-0 lead & protect it. I was very impressed with the energy & start by this team firing 16 shots on Luongo & creating many chances. Very disappointed in this crappy system sitting back & firing 9 shots the last 2 periods. Hate the  guy & his system because he’s ruining our skilled players but what do I know?

  39. The Cat says:

    Its true that JM ruins the offensive upside of the forwards, but if he didnt, the habs D would collapse every game.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  40. The Cat says:

    Man, New Jersey is going to make this interesting. I wouldnt want to face that team in the first round, or any round for that matter.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  41. Haligonian-Hab says:

    I wish we were CBC royalty like Toronto. We could have seen that sweet W at 7pm!

  42. Miltie01 says:

    I don’t know why everyone still attributes this to JM and his system. I have on so manny occasions heard Elliot Friedman and others say that they talked to the Habs coaches during breaks and they always say the coaches are warning the players not to sit back, to keep on doing what got them the lead, to keep pressuring the other team. Sitting back is not JM’s system at all.


    I think it is more a natural tendency in the players, and also the fact there is another team on the ice. Vancouver is a very good team, do you not think they were likely to up their game to try and win the game ?

  43. wd40 says:

    I’m guessing a little inadequate… 

    … pretty amazing what Lemaire has been able to do in the last 19.

  44. shootdapuck says:

    The “sitting back” happens way to often to be anything other than “systematic”!

    JM might say not to sit back but absolutely he is also screaming not to forget the defensive responsibilities at a ratio of 10 to 1!


    “I only like to watch and takes notes” JM

  45. habstrinifan says:

    You must have been delighted with the first ten minutes. Watching Suuban and Desharnis, and everyone actually, skate with such flair was man-o-man just what the doctor ordered.

    Glad you got a game like that.. with a WIN too..

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