Habs battled Ottawa to win their fourth in a row, although things got a little dicey as the game moved into the late stages. But we’ve seen this before, and a win is a win. At least they didn’t let it slip away.
It was quite nerve-wracking in the last five minutes of the game as the Habs hung on to a 2-1 lead, barely touching the puck for lengthy amounts of time, and it didn’t help when Josh Gorges took a penalty for holding with just 1:31 left in the game. But they held their ground while shorthanded and with the Ottawa goalie on the bench, and that’s two points we’ll take, thank you very much.
It may have been a nail-biter, but the Canadiens definitely weren’t short of chances. It seemed on this night almost everybody had a shot at playing hero. Andrei Kostitsyn missed on a clear-cut breakaway, Cammy came within a whisker a couple of times, and even Hal Gill came close once. But on most chances, the Canadiens just couldn’t finish.
Except twice that is, for two great goals.
Erik Cole converted a sweet little close-in set up from Mike Cammalleri to get things rolling, and shortly after, Lars Eller had the puck handed to him, he did a little shuffle, and moved it over to Andrei Kostitsyn to make it 2-0.
How I wanted that third goal and a shutout, but as we’ve seen before, other teams begin to pick it up a notch, and the Sens did manage to score and strike fear into the hearts of Habs fans. But the Canadiens held on with Gorges in the box, and with it move to within one point of the Rangers, who hold down 9th spot. And wouldn’t you know, Montreal heads to Broadway to meet these same Rangers in a big, juicy game Samedi soir..
Carey Price was knocked around several times, but he’s a big boy and can handle this kind of thing. He’s a rodeo cowboy, don’t forget.
Shots on goal – Ottawa 34, Habs 26
The Sens also hit the post in the late stages, which is way too close for comfort, and they owned the puck for much of the third. But all I see is the scoreboard, and it reads a win for the Habs.
I thought Tomas Plekanec played well, and Price sparkled on occasion. In fact, the team as a whole wasn’t nearly as rusty as I had thought they’d be after their week-long break. The boys must have had solid practices and slept in separate beds from their wives while at home.
Toronto remains on top in the east and it has to be any day now before they come crashing down with a thud. It’s just not natural to see them up in the penthouse like this. In fact, it defies all laws of nature.