Game 81: Habs lose in OT, will finish 6th or 7th


Ottawa’s Filip Kuba celebrates his game-winning overtime goal against the Canadiens.
André Ringuette, NHLI via Getty Images

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Audio: To come

At A Glance: The second-last regular-season game for the Canadiens was going into the books as being… their second-last game of the regular season. But a good final few minutes took Game 81 into overtime against the Ottawa Senators, the home team’s Filip Kuba spoiling Habs head coach Jacques Martin’s bid for his 600th career win with the game-winner in a 3-2 decision. Canadiens captain Brian Gionta opened the scoring with his 27th of the season and first in nine games, banging in a rebound at 13:12 of the second period. Ottawa’s Jason Spezza spoiled Alex Auld’s shutout bid 36 seconds into the third when the Habs gave their host the entire rink down low, Spezza finally coming out from behind the net to stuff in the equalizer. Bobby Butler took a fine pass from Spezza and undressed Habs defenceman Hal Gill to whip a high wrister past Auld at 17:11. Michael Cammalleri sent it to overtime with just 11 seconds remaining in regulation, rifling home a short-range shot on a terrific cross-ice pass from Andrei Kostitsyn. Kuba’s OT winner came at 1:16 on a long, low shot from just inside the Habs blue line through a bit of a maze.

Stupidity At Its Finest: Ottawa’s Francis Lessard, with zero points but 63 penalty minutes in 23 games this season, was given a major and game misconduct 2:23 into the third after drilling Habs’ Tom Pyatt head-first from behind into the end boards; you’d like to think there’s a disciplinary hearing coming for that. Pyatt had his mandatory time out for examination and returned.

Key Moments: Cammalleri’s late goal gave the Habs hope for a win, at least briefly.

What It Means: The Habs remain in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with one game left on their calendar. Combined with the Rangers’ defeat in New York, the Canadiens can finish no lower than seventh and no higher than sixth, which means they’ll avoid a first-round date against the East’s top seed. Montreal’s first-round playoff opponent won’t be known before the weekend.

What’s Next: Only the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre. Then, preparation for the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.


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  2. thehabs21 says:


  3. Muckbringer says:

    another earthquake in japan today. in other news,

    libyan, Afghanistan , iraq wars still producing cash for the elite

    hab fans not shook about loss

    live feed @ 11

  4. TheKarl says:

    Meh, they played their hearts out Tuesday… Disappointing? yes. Understandable? yes. At least it looks like the Habs will avoid the Caps. I honestly can’t say who of Pitts, Bos or Philly I’d want the Habs to play so really can’t be that upset

    Announcer 1: And it looks like Randy Carlyle is yelling something at referee.
    Announcer 2: Not sure what but it looks like he is dedicating him a Cee-Loo song.

  5. HardHabits says:

    Scott Gomez is The System.

  6. observer says:

    As at 7pm Friday April 8

    1 Washington 81 48 22 11 107 – Max 109
    2 Philadelphia 80 46 23 11 103 – Max 107
    3 Boston 80 45 24 11 101 – Max 105
    4 Pittsburgh 80 47 25 8 102 – Max 106
    5 Tampa Bay 80 44 25 11 99 – Max 103
    6 Montreal 81 43 30 8 94 – Max 96
    7 Buffalo 80 41 29 10 92 – Max 96
    8 NY Rangers 81 43 33 5 91 – Max 93

    9 Carolina 80 39 30 11 89 – Max 93

    NOTE – Montreal holds the tiebreaker(ROW) over Buffalo if they end up tied in points. And Carolina will hold the tiebreaker over the Rangers should they win both their remaining games in regulation.

    It is a complete tossup who Habs may meet in round 1 as of today. They can finish either 6th or 7th which means facing the #2 or the #3 seed, but any of Boston, Philadelphia or Pittsburgh can finish in any of those 2 seeds.

    Friday, April 8, 2011
    Pittsburgh at NY Islanders 7pm
    Chicago at Detroit 7:30pm
    Philadelphia at Buffalo
    Carolina at Atlanta
    Florida at Tampa Bay

  7. habstrinifan says:

    Does this not mean we have LOCKED up 6th place?

  8. Bugs says:

    Gotta say, after hearin a lot of the talk, I don’t think I could be convinced that Philly might represent a better matchup at the moment due to Pronger’s absence. It’s more than Pronger that inhibits our offence. Don’t remember seeing him around when they beat us 3 years ago when we had the better team. They’re just lucky. I HATE that. That’s why I hate those bastiches the most. Postpone matchup as long as possible; let the Rags wipe’em out.
    Washy scares me a little. Not the same team as last year. They’ve been hurt. Hurt deep. You look in their eyes now and all you can see is that they will NOT let that happen again. Golly, I can almost believe it too. Give’em a practice round to tire’em out, then chop’em off at the knees, those scuz-bucket rats. Rinky-dink club anyway.
    Boston is tricky. Go in without confidence and they’ll eat us alive. They had “better teams” in 2002 and 2004 if you remember. We had MOTIVATION. And they had no solution for it; that’s why we won. La Rage de vaincre. Go in with moxie…get the first goal? Ha! They’ll crack. Like they always crack. Big and bad perhaps but delicate doilies at the core.
    Like I said, tricky.

    Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

  9. Mavid says:

    it should be called Bellbank will be rockin with Habs fans..they traditionally have their fan appreciation night on the last home game, but because they are playing the Habs they changed it to the game against the flyers..a tad embarrasing to have fan appreciation night with your building 3/4 full of the opposing teams fans he he he he..

    second place is just the first loser

  10. HabFanSince72 says:

    Quiz of the day.

    Which goalie is 49th in the league in save percentage?

    I’ll give you a hint. He was once traded for a Danish rookie.

  11. HabFanSince72 says:

    1. The Torres hit was not “clean”. It was a hit to the head and you’d have to have been in outer space for the last couple of years not to know that is no longer tolerated.

    2. In addition to being a hit to the head, it was also probably charging.

    3. And finally, the most dangerous aspect of the hit is that Eberle didn’t see it coming. In terms of head injuries that is the most dangerous kind of hit.

    • EricInStL says:

      Which is worse Torres or Bertuzzi. The difference is Vancouver is in Canada and Detroit is a US based team.

      US bias of the NHL is sickening. Still like my idea of doing a USNHL and a CNHL.

      How many games would the guy who hit Crosby have gotten if he played in Canada instead of Washington. BTW Ted was a lot a weight with Gary.

      • V says:

        What makes you think there is a US bias in the NHL?

      • rogus says:

        Bertuzzi played for Vancouver when he hit Moore, so what is your point?

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          I think that’s his point. Bertuzzi got suspended as a Canuck but not as a Wing. They were completely different incidents however. Nonetheless that a recidivist like Bertuzzi was not suspended for a head shot is suspicious.

          Not saying I agree there is a pro-US bias by the way.

          However we know FOR A FACT that Colin Campbell is biased. He harangued a ref for penalizing his son, which should have gotten him reprimanded at the minimum, and fired if the NHL wasn’t a joke.

          I think NHL justice is clearly very inconsistent, and different standards apply to different players.

          • EricInStL says:

            Thank you

          • J_P says:

            I actually have no idea how the nhl managed to just sweep those leaked e-mails under the rug….

            Say what you will about Gary, but the guy is actually one of the worlds best con artists. He has so many people convinced that he’s doing a great job, and somehow manages to get people to ignore MAJOR conflicts of interest.

    • Habfan4lfe says:

      Ya you got it exactly. Boston Chara to consider too. Had it been Pacioretty nearly killing Chara, Pax would be hanging right now and suspended. Boston however has a lot more power in the NHL than most know or realize. Bias, Corruption and Bettman. Hold on a sec, what happened in Basketball with Bettman?

  12. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I don’t care who we play in the first round as the top 4 teams are very good. We need Price to be on top of his game to win any series even though we’ve owned the Bruins historically in the post season. The Caps are much better this year, Flyers are always tough & the Pens have been impressive without their stars. We all know though that regular season stats means absolutely nothing in the playoffs. So bring it on.

    • DarthWade says:

      I think we could go far if we don’t get stupid when it comes to penalties. Try to give as little power play chances to the opposing teams as possible and we might do fine.

      Philly gets stupid when they’re behind, Boston does as well, so I can see them getting a lot of penalties (unless the refs put the whistles away of course) and if we can take advantage of that, we win. Especially if Price stands on his head again like he did in the Chicago game.

      If we end up spending a lot of time in the box we’re just going to shoot ourselves in the foot.

  13. EricInStL says:

    So Torres gets 4 games. 2 now + 2 playoffs.

    Bye Bye Nucks…….

    Hope you enjoy the Presidents trophy….

    • samTHEman says:

      He’s no Kesler but they will still miss him and Malhotra. The Lapierre and Higgins pick-ups looking better and better. They’re my team in the West obviously but it won’t be easy if they face Hawks or Ducks.

      • EricInStL says:

        He would be very important against a team like Calgary and Chicago.

        I think anyone who meets LA is going to be happy, the rest look like tough 7 game series.

        This might last till July.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          Looks like LA will get Justin Williams back, Kopitar of course no way, he’s done.

          The whisper here is that Penner is out of condition and has no stamina. I wanted to get him but if that is the case that’s pretty unprofessional when not injured.

          Also Kings play Ducks home and home this weekend (only single seats available so I can’t go to either) which will be two tough games.

  14. dean roberts says:

    anybody got a link? don’t have rds and of course tsn isn’t showing the game. thanks gang

  15. j2w4habs25 says:

    Why give Carey a break when he is on his game? I think they made a wrong move…

    Carey Price #31

  16. Good Habits says:

    Makes me crazy to read laffs’ fan’s comments on other sites.

    I cannot believe the hate for PK. Racist. Embarrasing.

    not about hockey but still ridiculous

  17. Habfan4lfe says:

    This is actually a good game to get things working properly. With a playoff spot secured, playing Senators is not going to be a big rough game. I wouldn’t sit anyone out except for Price. I will admit I am not looking forward to the return of Spacek. I wonder who will sit now. Shame.

  18. Les-Habitants says:

    Hammer better be one of those d-men that gets the night off. I wouldn’t be opposed to resting him till playoffs – we’ll need him big time, and this is the perfect time to give him a chance to heal. Among the other D, I’d rest Gill this game and perhaps Wiz the next one (if he needs it)

  19. JohnBellyful says:

    Chances are the server will bog down after tonight’s game — then again, it’s the Senators — so I’ll post my post-game comments now to beat the rush (if only I had opted for the HIO premium package — instant connection, automatic fact checking with every post, thesaurus, troll filter, autographed pics of Dave and the boys, JM’s cellphone number, Ryan O’Byrne game jerseys. Next season).


    • LA Loyalist says:

      You could just have a master list of stock comments and select the appropriate ones, i.e.

      • Price kept us in the game
      • Pouliot fell down
      • Gomez took a stupid offensive zone penalty
      • Coach Martin didn’t contest a cross checking penalty even though the offending player had lost his stick prior to the infraction…
      • Gomez wasn’t worth $7.35 million
      • Plecks looks tired…

      If we have 10 or 20 of those we’re good. No need to write anything. 🙂

  20. 4m3y2j says:

    Foot on the gas,keep up the intensity,Auld has looked solid lately.We want 6th.Ideally Penguins would be perfect followed by the Bruins

  21. Habsfan16 says:

    It’s nice to see the only Cup going to Ottawa is a balloon. (Look in the picture 😉 )

    Bring Hartley to Montreal!

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