The mobile, agile, hostile Carey Price was up to the task yet again stopping 43 of 45 shots en route to a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday. The Habs wrapped up an impressive three-game road trip going undefeated in that span and surrendering only three goals.
The Canadiens are currently riding a four game winning streak and are undefeated in the month of March. Last night’s victory was the Habs’ first over Tampa Bay this season. The Canadiens sit securely in sixth place with a seven-point cushion over seventh place New York Rangers, and only one point back of fifth place Washington. The Habs are certainly moving up the food chain.
The same can’t be said about the Southeast leading Lightning as they have dropped their third straight game and are only one point ahead of Southeast division rival Washington Capitals. Key injuries to Steve Downie and Ryan Malone have certainly set this team back. Maurice Richard Trophy leading candidate, Steven Stamkos, has only one goal in his last 11 games and with little time remaining, Guy Boucher and the rest of his Lightning team will have to figure something out before they lose home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
Most if not all of the credit for last night’s triumph has to go to the Habs netminder, Carey Price. The man who was anointed ‘King of the Island’ before he was fully prepared to sit on his throne, has definitely come into his own after a shaky start to his career, health issues and rumoured tales of lewd behaviour.
The 23-year old Price is having one of those “comeback, feel-good story of the year” seasons and it couldn’t have happened at a more important time. Especially when this team truly needs him to be the “Thoroughbred” that Bob Gainey predicted. The boos have ceased, the cheers are rolling in, and confidence has been restored in the Habs goal.
The Habs opened the scoring when (cue lights, camera annnnnnnnd ACTION)…
A View to a Gill 2
That’s right, the guy who hadn’t scored in over a year and a half is putting on his best Al Iafrate impersonation as of late, notching his second goal of the season, from the point, to open the scoring for the second-straight game. Alas, if he continues this scorching pace, one would think the power of negotiation would favour Gill when he becomes a UFA come July 1st.
The Double-D, the Little Engine that Could, the Road Warrior himself, David Desharnais, continues to rack up the points for Montreal, scoring his eighth goal of the season. In twelve road games this season, Desharnais has six goals and four assists and has netted at least one point in his last four road games. Desharnais’ goal was set-up by Andrei Kostitsyn for his 21st assist of the season and has now registered a point in six straight games.
Max Pacioretty is turning into the player the Canadiens have so tirelessly sought after for so many years, a skilled power forward. Parking his big butt at the Tampa goal during Steven Stamkos’ hooking penalty midway through the second period and picking up the garbage goal brought a tear to Shayne Corson’s eye. Now if MaxPac can do that every game for the next 20-or-so years,I think the Habs will be fine.
Oh yeah, he can shoot too…
Max Pac’s 2nd goal off of a Tampa turnover, assisted by Scott Gomez of all people, showed how lethal this kid’s going to be. A perfect one-time snap-shot froze veteran goaltender Dwayne Roloson and the Habs had their fourth and final goal.
After coasting through the rest of the third period, Carey Price came up with a huge poke-check on a wide-open Steven Stamkos during a 5-on-3 penalty kill, surrendered one final goal to Vincent Lecavalier a few minutes later and celebrated victory on St. Pete Times Forum ice after the horn rang out to signal the end of the game.
Wrapping up the best Spring Break ever, the Habs return home to some much needed (and deserved) R&R. Practice tomorrow followed by a date with the B’s on Tuesday.
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March 6, 2011 | Categories: Montreal Canadiens, NHL | Tags: @JohnnyBertolo, A View to a Kill, Al Iafrate, Andrei Kostitsyn, bleu blanc et rouge, Bob Gainey, Boston Bruins, David Desharnais, Dwayne Rolson, Guy Boucher, Habs, Hal Gill, Les canadiens de Montreal, Maurice Richard, Maurice Richard Trophy, Max Pacioretty, Metallica, Montreal four game win streak, New York Rangers, Ride the Lightning, Ryan Malone, Scott Gomez, Shayne Corson, Southeast Division, St. Pete Times Forum, Steve Downie, Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, Twitter, UFA, Vincent Lecavalier, Washington Capitals | Leave a comment