(Dave Sidaway / THE GAZETTE)
The Canadiens went into the second period with a 2-0 lead Thursday just like they did on Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers — only this time they protected and built on it with a power-play goal by Brian Gionta.
The line centred by Tomas Plekanec with Gionta and Michaël Bournival led the Canadiens’ offense in the Habs 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at the Bell Centre. Each of the linemates scored a goal and picked up an assist — two helpers in Plekanec’s case. They won praise from coach Michel Therrien, including the rookie Bournival, who he said is making good decisions with the puck and playing with a lot of confidence.
“The chemistry is there with those three guys,” Therrien said.
“Bournival brings a lot of speed. He skates really well. He competes. And he’s taking advantage too, of playing with two good veteran players. Plekanec is playing very good right now. (Gionta), it’s the same thing.”
Therrien also liked the way his team played.
“There are a lot of good things to work on from tonight’s game,” the coach said.
“We were not opening up the game for no reason. And we were patient waiting for our chances, and we capitalized on (them).”
As the game drew to a close, fans chanted “Sa-ku! Sa-ku!” and gave former Canadiens captain Saku Koivu a loud ovation that continued when he was named the game’s third star.
Therrien said he was glad Ducks’ coach Bruce Boudreau put Koivu on the ice for the last 20 seconds and gave the fans a chance to acknowledge the courage Koivu had in Montreal.
You can hear what Gionta had to say after the game here: