Game 66: Habs beat Bolts, win streak at four

Canadiens captain Brian Gionta arrives to congratulate teammate Hal Gill on the latter’s first-period goal.
Scott Audette, NHLI via Getty Images

Preview | Matchups | Saturday’s

NHL schedule | Boone’s

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

AUDIO : Brian Gionta | Max Pacioretty | Carey Price

At a Glance: The Canadiens extended their win streak to four games Saturday night, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 before a typically buoyant Habs-friendly crowd in south Florida. Sniper Hal Gill, who had gone 99 games without a goal before scoring Thursday in Montreal’s 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers, hit the net for the second straight match to get the Habs on the board at 5:27, his slapper beating Tampa goalie Dwayne Roloson. It was just the second time in Gill’s career that he had goals in consecutive games, the first time coming Oct. 21 and 24, 2002 when he was with the Boston Bruins. David Desharnais put the visitors up 2-0 about three minutes later on the power play, but the Lightning got that back 85 seconds into the second with an extra man, Lars Eller off for tripping, when former Canadien Dominic Moore beat Habs goalie Carey Price in a scramble. Max Pacioretty gave the Habs a two-goal edge again, with yet another PP goal, at 14:05. Pacioretty scored his second of the night, his 14th on the season, on a one-timer off a fine feed by Scott Gomez at 1:18 of the third. Vincent Lecavalier banged home Tampa’s second on a Canadiens turnover, generated by Moore, at 14:07.

Keys To The Win: The Canadiens’ successful kill of an 88-second 5-on-3 Lightning power play in the third period and Price’s typically stellar goalkeeping, a 43-save performance.

What It Means: The Habs enjoyed a perfect 3-0 road trip to Atlanta, and Sunrise and Tampa, Fla. Their record stands at 36-23-7 for 79 points. The win has the sixth-place Canadiens seven points ahead of No. 7 New York Rangers in the East and kept them in the hunt for first in the Northeast Division heading
into Tuesday’s Bell Centre game against the division-leading Boston Bruins, who
lost in overtime to Pittsburgh. The Bruins are five points up on the Habs  with a game in hand.

What’s Next: The Canadiens were to fly home immediately after the game. They’ll face the Bruins on Tuesday, for the first time since the gong show of their last meeting in Boston – an 8-6, penalty-filled Habs loss. Then they head back on the road for a game Thursday in St. Louis and Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh.


  1. joeybarrie says:

    Whats astonishing to me is that Price has almost as many NHL games as Thomas. By the time Price is 25 (the usual age for a goalie to start in the NHL) he will have as many or more games in the NHL than Thomas has now at 37 (cause he is closer to 37 than 36).

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  2. SeriousFan09 says:

    Considering how Brodeur has folded like a cheap tent in the post-season since the lockout ended, I’m game.

    Their run is magical but honestly, can it really last all the way through to the playoffs and endure? Great story if they make it, but they’ll probably be spent making it in.


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

  3. joeybarrie says:

    Actually the hockey player HAAGEN DAZS is from Poland………But qualifies for the US Olympic team.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  4. CHsam says:

    i wonder if TB have ever thought about burying Lecavalier in the minors.

  5. Habnofear says:

    Against Tampa I’ll be generous and say it’s a 50/50 chance our Habs win and against Boston ZERO %.  At the Bruins game you’ll find the Habs reluctant to leave the dressing room,the damage has been done  and Boston doesn’t have too raise a finger….Great job Gauthier!

  6. Ian Cobb says:

    Pat Hickey is correct about our Habs being the most penalized team in the league. The thing he does not realize is that was Martin’s plan to get ready for the play offs. How else can we have the best penalty killing team in the league without practice.

    I am telling you that with Martin’s defensive philosophy and his ability to think out of the box, we would not be peaking at the right time for the up coming play offs. Our lines and pairings are becoming set now, our goal tending is with the best in the league. We will be going deeper into the play offs than last year.

    I just hope we rest Gomez’s back for a few games before the play offs, it has been killing his play most of the year. But the pro that he is, he has played through the pain most of the year. He will be ready.!

    Our Habs will be so prepared for the start of the play offs, no one is going to want to play us. All the penalties that we gave to the opposition will dry up and our speed will draw them into taking penalties.

    This year we are in for a great ride, even though all games will be decided by one goal, keeping us sitting on the edge. Could we ask for more??

  7. habsguy says:

    how are we head to head with the bruins this year??

  8. W35T5ID3 says:


  9. SmartDog says:


    Funny post! Thanks!

  10. SmartDog says:

    I thought he was from Sweden…. that must be Yogen Fruz.  🙂

  11. gumper says:

    Setting aside all mathematical possibilities and acknowledging my tendency towards hyperbolic overstatement, I believe that the Habs must win this game tonight if they hope to move into that coveted top 4 position in the conference. The time has passed for letting a couple of points slip away in the hope of making up for it later. Also, tonight a win makes a statement that the team is ready to make a second deep playoff run. A loss smacks of “we’re-not-quite-ready-for-prime-time.” To win tonight they’ll have to be better than they were for the past two games, even though both of those games were wins. 

  12. Danno says:

    Ian, with all due respect, why in the world would Martin be giving Gomez so much ice time if he’s been playing hurt? It makes no sense.


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  13. Ian Cobb says:

    punkster, Another new word for me, thanks. What does it mean?

  14. punkster says:

    “…and may God have mercy on your soul.” Outstanding!


  15. adam76 says:

    You do know the habs are 3 – 1 against the Bs this season?  No professional player is scared of a group of classless goons.


    Montreal will win by 3 goals against the Bs Tuesday night – bank on it.

  16. punkster says:

    Google it Ian. I don’t want to be banned for describing it 😉


  17. joeybarrie says:

    How do you give the team that has consistently beaten Boston in the last 5 years a ZERO chance of winning. Especially when the Habs simply have to stay away from the physical aspect of the game.

    The only reason the game went like it did last time, is because the GOOINS didn’t know any other way to beat us. It wont be the same type of game, and I think the pressure is on the Boston.

    Does anyone actually think bringing in a goon is going to lead to a WIN for us?

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  18. Danno says:

    Props to you Propwash!


    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  19. adam76 says:

    Agree 100%, we can;t play like we did in Hotlanta and still expect the 2 points.

  20. geo_habsgo says:

    I’ll be surprised if the Bruins can sustain that kind of pressure and truculence (hate that word) over a series. Like someone said, the pressure is on the bruins this Tuesday night. The Habs can definitely win that game just as much as the Bruins can. While we haven’t gotten bigger since that game we have made some acquisitions that were designed to protect this team and its assets a little more than before. Don’t count Montreal out. 

    Besides, I’m tired of everyone calling that game a beatdown since we really only lost by 2 goals. Whether the game was 2-0 or 3-1, the outcome would have been the same as this 8-6 loss. It was a close game and by all accounts we did give as good as we got.

  21. SLYDER says:

    Also, Ian, with all due respect, why would Jm plan to be among the most penalized teams in the nhl for the sake of practise?

  22. SLYDER says:

    is “Habnofear” ….scared?


    Habs will win – sit Pyatt and play White. I really feel Pyatt would be the only one affected by that brawl. Hamirlik? please…


    Spacek is out – Mara and Sopel in.


    Pouliot and Moen can’t freakin wait…


    dont worry…habs 4-1

  23. drivefor25 says:

    As I recall, Haagen Das learned to skate on all those frozen canals in Holland LOL.

    Fan since ’71

  24. SmartDog says:

    Ian, I hold you to a fairly high standard of truth but I think your optimism is having you build fantasies in the sky.

    > I just hope we rest Gomez’s back for a few games before the play offs

    Not much being carried by Gomez’s back lately… and where did this sudden injury come from??

    > It has been killing his play most of the year.

    So that’s what it is. At least one mystery solved. Now we know why he’s afraid to go near the front of the net. (Sarcasm.)

    > Pro that he is, he has played through the pain most of the year.

    What? He’s a pro so he’s played CRAPPY hockey through pain instead of healing… and JM has given him tons of ice time through this supposed injury?  It doesn’t wash. This back thing is BS to me.

    > He will be ready.

    Huh?  Is this some sort of a conclusion or a fantasy?  His back has been killing him, he’s been playing terrible hockey, ergo he will be ready!

    Ian I love your faith in the team but your backing of Gomez as he sinks deeper and deeper in the mud is just fantasy-land.



  25. Bugs says:

    Well, then run along and go hide under the bed and when it’s all over, we’ll come and get you, aw’ight?

    You can bring your teddy-bear and pray to little jebus if you want too. We’ll bring you some cookies and you can be all warm and safe, aw’ight? How’s that sound? Sound good?

    (…my first post of the day, damn, i have absolutely no shame…)

  26. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Curious to know what you are basing this comment upon.  We’re 3-1 against the Bruins this year.  As for the Habs being scared of them, again, upon what are you basing that? In case you didn’t notice, the Bruins started the bush league stuff in the 2nd period, and from thereon in the score was 6-6.

    So what was injured during that game? The Canadiens’ pride, or yours?  Luckily the Habs are professionals who have dealt with bush league play before. Something tells me Gio isn’t too fazed by the Bs. 

    At any rate, enjoy cheering for the Bruins on Tuesday.  I’ll be pulling for the Habs.

    (to raise a finger).

  27. SLYDER says:

    *6-5 – mtl didnt get the 6th until Patches sniped one with 15 seconds left

  28. Harditya_CareyPrice says:


  29. geo_habsgo says:

    I love your optimism as much as the next but at some point it can get to be a little silly. Suggesting that Martin’s trying to be one of the most penalized teams in the league in order to practice? Kinda silly. Gomez, being the professional that he is, should be able to realize that his injury is hampering his play and the team and take the time off he needs to heal. Playing through pain that stifles his production and ruins his line mates does not scream of veteran experience and professionalism. Thats pretty silly. 

    Again, I like your optimism but you gotta reign it in a little bit :p I guess your CH blood runs a little deeper than mine considering you’ve seen a lot more cups than I have (can barely remember the ’93 run!)

  30. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Sooooooo……wouldn’t that make it 6-6?? Or do you mean that it was a pretty insignificant goal because it came so late, and thus not a fair reflection of the score?


  31. SmartDog says:

    This Gomez injury thing doesn’t pass the smell test.  Gomez needs and excuse for his truly sucky, soft, and unproductive play.   If he WAS playing with an injury Martin would be at the very least easing off on him.  Instead Martin overplays him to get him going.  It makes no sense.  Gomez is somewhere between “in a deep funk” and “washed up”… he’s barely worth talking about anymore except that his crappy play is taking up a crucial spot in an otherwise increasingly balanced lineup.

  32. Bugs says:

    I think Mr.Ian’s attempt to draw some positivity out of an alarming situation is to be commended.

    And maybe humoured somewhat.

  33. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    (SmartDog, hope you don’t mind if I steal your format)

    5 questions:

    1) Halpern on the wing, on the top line.  Temporary fix, or is that what we’ll see in the playoffs?  A good fit?

    2) Where does Darche fit in when he returns?

    3) Eller – never, ever a winger again?

    4) Weber, Mara or Picard? Who do you like until Spacek gets back?

    5) Does Roloson have one more good playoff run in him?

  34. TorontoHabsFan says:

    So a Montreal win puts them 2 points behind a fading Tampa Bay, and yet Boucher is a genius and Martin doesn’t know his @ss from his elbow.

    The Grass Is Greenerism ’round these parts is ridiculous, bordering on absurd.

  35. Bugs says:

    I think my 12:17 reply applies here too.

  36. Ghosts of the Forum says:

    Gotcha, my misunderstanding — I was arguing that the score in the second and third periods was 6-6, the only difference was the quick two goals in the first and thus the rough stuff didn’t really have an impact on the score of the game.  But you raise a good point that the brawls started later in the second, not right off the bat, where I was starting from. 

    Regardless, I think we can both agree Bruins = bush, Habs = champions. 

  37. Bugs says:

    IT’S a madhouse, fersure.

    Thankfully, you’re here to make sense of it all, TH.

    And I, for my part, appreciate that immensely.

  38. SmartDog says:


    Pick the one that is CLOSEST to reality.

    1. I hope the Laffs lose every game between now and golf season OR I hope the Laffs make the playoffs because at least Boston won’t get a top draft pick. 

    2. AK has found his rythm because he has the right linemates OR AK has woken up for some reason no-one can possibly guess.

    3.Habs have a discipline problem OR a few Habs are making too many stupid mistakes.

    4. Scott Gomez has been playing with injury and that’s why he’s played poorly so much of the season OR that’s BS.

    5. We will beat Tampa tonight OR Tampa is the kind of aggressive offensive team that we are giong to have problems against.


  39. samTHEman says:

    Canadiens are on a hot streak. With another great performance by Carey Price, here are my predictions, if we can stay out of the penalty box reasonably. Stamkos finally breaks out of his scoring slump and pots a pair. Cammalleri and Subban are both due for a goal. Pacioretty is on fire already despite whatever line he is on. He’s a constant threat.

    3-2 Habs

    Cammalleri – Pacioretty – Subban

    Stamkos (2)


    Can’t it just be 7PM already?

  40. samTHEman says:

    1. couldn’t care less

    2. both

    3. a few habs are making dumb mistakes. ahem POULIOT

    4. he might have an injury of some sort but i doubt that’s the main reason to his problems

    5. tampa is going down

  41. andrewberkshire says:

    Pacioretty and Cammalleri are both left wingers. Neither is effective on their off wing. Only Gionta or Kostitsyn have the ability to join Plekanec and Cammalleri on that line.

  42. ZepFan2 says:

    I too am raising a finger…to you.

    Guess which one it is.

    ———————————————————————— “Young people have seen that a team can play electrifying, fascinating hockey while still behaving like gentlemen.” ~Serge Savard~

  43. OneTimer says:

    Habs are training for playoff mode my friend, they’re going to shut down Stamkos the superstar all game. It’s some no-name grinders that are going to score 1 or 2 against the Habs tonight

  44. HotHabs says:

    I believe this “injury” news is an opportunity for sympathy, but I don’t doubt Gomez is injured to some degree.  However, he hasn’t been injured all season and his unproductive play has carried through the season thus far.  He’s just an overpaid millionnaire having a lame year.  We hate his contract.  We hate his lack of pts. even more.  Fans would feel much more at ease with the dollars if the points were streaming in.  Sucks to be Gomez, and yet I’m sure his bank account acts as a lovely soother.

  45. samTHEman says:

    Remember when Gomez sat 2 games with an undisclosed injury of some sort? He came back and played well for a period of time after taking that break so if JM and co need to sit him for the overall benefit of the team in the long-run then for god’s sake pull the trigger already

  46. samTHEman says:

    Per, Cammy and AK both play the LW. Who played the RW when they were together with Pleky? I think it might of been AK, correct me if I’m wrong. If that’s the case, then I take back my suggestion for putting Pac with Cammy. But if Cammy played the RW on that line then there’s no reason he wouldn’t be able to duplicate that success again with Pac on the LW.

  47. SmartDog says:

    1. I hope the Laffs make the playoffs and get creamed by the Habs in the 3rd round.  Boston loses it’s good pick, and the Habs get to Laff at the Laffs even more.

    2. AK has the right linemates and those guys have matured.

    3. A few habs making mistakes (Pouliot, Spacek, Gomez)

    4. BS

    5. We will have problems with Tampa.  We can beat them but only if our D AND our offence both play really well for 60 minutes.  A lot to ask.

  48. SmartDog says:

    NP, these are good!   But you scooped me while I was writing my own!  🙁

    1. Temorary fix. First line is not his place.

    2. Got me on this one.

    3. Never a winger again. Eller is showing he’s got the goods at center.

    4. Weber.

    5. I believe Rolie does, yes.


  49. J_P says:

    1. I hope the Laffs make the playoffs.  Theyll get smoked in the first round anyways and it guarantees that boston will get a mediocre pick at best.  However, Im not sure how big of a difference there in draft ranking between finishing 9th, and getting knocked out in the first round.

    2. linemates.  Everyone plays better when they are separated from scott gomez.  Although AK matching up against other teams 5-6 D-men certainly helps.

    3. Neither.  Their defensive system doesn’t compliment their lack of size, and seeing as the habs dont generally control the puck and cant muscle their opponent off the puck, they result to stick infractions to slow their opponent down.

    4. BS. 

    5.  Tampa will probably beat us tonight, but not because theyre an aggressive offensive team, just because theyve been slumping and theyre do.  I also don’t see the habs winning 4 straight.   


  50. J_P says:

    Tampa bay doesnt have our defensive depth, nor does it have the same caliber of goaltending.  Roloson can be lights-out but he can also be really awful, especially playing behind tampa’s porous defense.

  51. olematelot says:

    Don’t be such a negative Nellie, have faith

  52. J_P says:

    1. Temporary fix for the top-line.  I like halpern on the wing though.  If I had to choose between eller and halpern centering a line, I would choose Eller to center it.  Halpern seems like he can move to the wing easier than eller can.

    2.  Tom Pyatts spot, thats about it.  Bonne Voyage mon ami!

    3. NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER again.  Its a travesty to put a player like him on the wing.

    4. Weber, just because of the upside.  Mara isn’t exactly impressive in the career plus/minus category.

    5.  Not behind that defense corp, that’s for sure. 

  53. J_P says:

    The key is definitely staying out of the box.  Nothing like a few powerplay opportunities to get stamkos out of his funk.

    If the boys can stay out of the box, play tight defense, and get solid goaltending, they could take this game no problem.   

  54. 100HABS says:

    1- The Toronto MakeBeleives lose, I smile. No playoffs.

    2- linemates – Gomer is the black hole of centres.

    3- 3rd option – the refs are being paid for us to lose. Particularly against the Rangers and Leafs.

    4- may be injured now but wasn’t the case all season – BS

    5- We will prevail.

  55. Flabadagub says:

    Dildonic, so graphic. Thank you, eh.

  56. Flabadagub says:

    Keep up the spirit!!!

  57. JIMVINNY says:

    If the leafs squeak in but get pounded in the first round, their pick (now boston’s) will only be a couple of spots lower than if they finished 9th.  I’d rather they didn’t make it, so we don’t have to listen to leafs fans brag about how they made the playoffs after trading away a bunch of assets.

  58. TripleX says:

    Sometimes a little perspective helps when making comparisons.

    Last season the Lightning had 34 wins , 80 pts. and finished out of the playoffs.

    This season already they have 37 wins and 81 pts.  I think any objective observer would say Yzerman and Boucher have more than met the high expectations.

  59. TorontoHabsFan says:

    So conversely, the fact that Martin coached a team that made the playoffs last season still means that he doesn’t know his @ss from his elbow?


  60. Price_Is_Right says:

    But were not the most penalized team in the league, were 19th! with 854 PIM





    Good things come to those who wait…But only what’s left by those who hustle!

  61. Kimberly2u says:

    Look at Little David score…

  62. samTHEman says:

    One guy that gets little mention is Hal Gill. He’s playing f’n solid, and i’m not even refering to his back-to-back games with goals.

  63. Muckbringer says:

    k, im pretty sure at least 1/2 cent off my monthly net goes to grapes… i wrong for feeling ripped off?

  64. Jonson says:

    Well said.

  65. Jonson says:

    thats the most interesting thing i ever heard on this site. never would of thought of that. thats BRIlliant if its true



  66. Jonson says:

    is there a new 1st line??

  67. Trisomy 21 says:

    The second penalty called against stamkos was kind of bogus, ad Gomez caused the puck to leave the TB zone twice on the PP, I’m so glad he didn’t get an assist for the point.


    Toronto lost their game pretty quick though 😀

  68. JonnyA777 says:

    Man is it fun watching Bergeron give the puck away on someone else’s blueline!

  69. Jonson says:

    you hate Benny ,yet you like Gomez…….lol ill never get it!

  70. dre1744 says:

    I was thinkin  the same thing.  I’m  sure happy  we don’t  have  his  dumb  ass on our blue line.  Will take  the wiz  anyday!!!!!!

  71. adam76 says:

    tied up with 40 seconds left

  72. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Ians not the kinda guy to hate any player,  I think he’s just callin it like he see’s it.

  73. HalifaxHabs says:

    For sure, he is EXACTLY what PK needed, and now they are great looking D combo together.

  74. HardHabits says:

    TX has been clinging to the JM bashing life-raft since the Halaknic hit the Priceberg.

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