Suffering Canadiens withdrawal? The Gazette has the answer with the ultimate fantasy experience as beat writer Pat Hickey and Gazette techie Eric Tobon employ EA Sports NHL 13 to produce The Season That Isn’t. Here’s how things might have looked in Tuesday night’s game against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre.
Andrei Markov had a huge smile on his face as he made an encore appearance on the Bell Centre ice after being named the first star in the Canadiens’ 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins Tuesday night.
“I’m happy we won and I’m happy that I’m healthy,” Markov said after he scored a goal and added two assists. “I worked very hard to get my knee in shape and everything feels good.”
It was the first win for new coach Michel Therrien after starting the season with two losses. They will face the Bruins again Thursday night at the TD Garden.
Markov opened the scoring at the 59-second mark of the first period. Lars Eller, whose line was being used in a shutdown role, took the puck off Patrice Bergeron and joined Travis Moen and Markov on a 3-on-1 rush. Moen faked a shot to draw deenceman Andrew Ference’s attention and left a drop pass for Markov.
“The other guys did all the work,” Markov said.
Milan Lucic tied the game at 15:59 of the opening period when he beat Carey Price with a shot from the high slot that appeared to carom off a player in front.
But Price was solid the rest of the way as he and Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask traded big saves until Alexei Emelin snapped a 1-1 tie at 18:10 of the third period. Rask made an acrobatic save on Moen, but left a fat rebound for Emelin, who was pinching in on the play.
Brandon Prust completed the scoring when he found the empty net with one second remaining.
Markov, who missed most of the past two seasons as he recovered from three knee surgeries, assisted on both third-period goals and displayed his fitness by playing a season-high 24:17. Therrien double-shifted him on occasion in the third period after Tomas Kaberle left the game with what appeared to be a groin injury. Therrien said the injury didn’t appear to be serious, but Kaberle will not accompany the team to Boston.
The injury opens up a spot for Raphael Diaz, who has yet to play this season.
Emelin and Shawn Thornton were handed fighting majors in the first period after Thornton objected to a clean hit on Brad Marchand. Emelin, who is reluctant to fight because of facial injuries he suffered while playing in Russia, was content to tie up Thornton and the linesmen moved in quickly.
Price stopped 31 shots in his strongest performance of the season.