Tuesday, March 18, 2008

We'll take it

The Canadiens tie the New Jersey Devils for the Eastern Conference lead after a 4-3 shootout loss to the St-Louis Blues on Tuesday. On paper, it was a game that the Habs should have won effortlessly, but came up short to a team that played like they had nothing to lose.

It was a game that the Blues took control of from the very start. Keith Tkachuk scored the opening goal on a 5-3 powerplay, 5 min into the game. Chris Higgins then scored his first goal in the last 10 games, and then Saku Koivu gave the Habs the lead 10 minutes into the second period. But the Habs held their only lead of the game for 47 seconds, after Andy McDonald caught Jaroslav Halak off guard. Brad Boyes gave the Blues the lead, until Mikhail Grabovski tied it up with 10 minutes left in the 3rd. Overtime solved nothing, and Saku Koivu missed a golden opportunity to give the Habs the lead in the shootout, and could not solve Manny Legace in the Shootout.

The game was Halak's first ever loss at the Bell Centre, and gave a performance he would surely like to have back. He made 25 saves in the loss and was caught off guard several times giving the Blues many great chances to score.

It was also possibly the worst game for the Pleckanec-Kovalev-A. Kostitsyn line all season, registering no point and generating very few scoring chances.

On the plus side, while the first line was not succeeding, the habs other lines really stepped up. The reunited line of Koivu-Higgins-Ryder played very well combining for 4 points, and Sergei Kostitsyn registered 2 assists, including one on the game tying goal by Mikhail Grabovski.

All in all, hats off to getting a point, but the Habs must play better down the stretch, especialy in the next 3 games.

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