There were no boos raining down from the Bell Centre rafters on this night. Because the home team was good. Really good.
It was Jaroslav Halak once again blanking the enemy, the Buffalo Sabres 3-0, after his 1-0 shutout the night before in Philadelphia.
It was Ryan O’Byrne almost deking out Halak and scoring on his own net, and then a few minutes later actually getting his first of the season against Ryan Miller.
It was a big game for the unheralded – Maxim Lapierre, Dominic Moore, S. Kostitsyn, O’Byrne, Tom Pyatt. These guys, the non-stars, stepped it up and did the job while the big guys took a bit of a back seat. It was not an overwheming performance by Scott Gomez, Tomas Plekanec, Benoit Pouliot and Brian Gionta, although Mike Cammalleri is usually very steady and was once again tonight.
But it’s okay if the big guns don’t have a big game, as long as the grinders do. And that’s what happened tonight.
It was payback time after the Sabres had broken the Canadiens’ backs in Buffalo last Wednesday with last minute heroics and shocking the Canadiens and the rest of us after being down 2-0 late in the game. The Habs were not going to let that happen again. Once was enough.
Tom Pyatt and Sergei Kostitsyn also scored big goals..
Habs are now three points up on the 9th place Thrashers.
Next up: Canadiens on Long Island Tuesday. Needless to say, another win here is a good thing.
With O’Byrne’s goal, he’s now just 47 short of Paul Coffey’s defenceman record for goals scored. It’s just too bad there’s only three games left or he might have had a shot.