for this game

Kovalev's late goal ends Canadiens' four-game slide

Mar 11, 2007 - 7:00 AM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Alexei Kovalev snapped a seven-game goalless drought at a perfect time for the Montreal Canadiens.

Kovalev scored with 85 seconds remaining in the third period, snapping a tie and leading the Canadiens to a crucial 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues.

Steve Begin and rookies Maxim Lapierre and Guillaume Latendresse also scored for Montreal (34-30-6), which ended a four-game losing streak and climbed within one point of idle Carolina (34-28-7) for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Canadiens, who improved to 5-11-0 in their last 16 contests, finished 1-4-0 on their five-game road trip.

"This has been too much, the trip, the third period," Montreal captain Saku Koivu said. "It was great to get this one, but we still have an awful lot of work to do if we want to get into the playoffs."

"The way this road trip has gone, we could not afford to lose this one, too," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau added. "We have enough to do yet as it is."

After building a 3-0 lead, the Canadiens allowed the Blues to storm back, with Glen Metropolit's power-play tally with 2:08 to go in the third knotting the contest. Acquired from Atlanta in the deal involving Keith Tkachuk on February 25, Metropolit banged a rebound between goaltender David Aebischer's pads from the top of the crease for his 13th goal.

But St. Louis' jubilation did not last long, as Kovalev received defenseman Mike Komisarek's pass near the right corner of the crease and lifted a backhander over goaltender Jason Bacashihua's glove 43 seconds later.

"I kept saying to Lapierre and Begin to just keep throwing the puck at the net and good things will happen for us," Kovalev said. "That's exactly what happened on that last play. Komisarek threw the puck at the net, I stopped it and was able to make a play."

"We didn't get the puck out of our zone, then I became off-balance right as Kovalev was getting the puck," Bacashihua said. "That's a bad combination in this league anytime, more so with that good a player. We had come all the way back, and that was a tough way to lose it."

Kovalev, who has just 14 goals in 63 contests, scored for the first time since a 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on February 6. It was the Russian's third game-winning goal of the season and first since a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Flames on October 17, a span of 57 games.

Veteran Doug Weight and rookie David Backes also scored for the Blues, who fell to 7-3-1 in their last 11 contests.

Weight began St. Louis' comeback at 13:22 of the second period, when he deflected Brad Boyes' shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Aebischer for his third goal in two games.

Aebischer made 25 saves in winning for just the second time in his last six starts.

Curtis Sanford started for the Blues but was pulled after allowing three goals on just 10 shots.

"Bounces and deflections are a part of the game and you find a way to deal with it," Sanford said. "(St. Louis coach Andy Murray) was right in pulling me."

Murray felt the game epitomized his club's season.

"It's a little bit like this season," he said. "We got in too deep a hole early, and even when it seemed we were out of trouble, we make a mistake and are down again. I know Curtis is frustrated, and he should be, because he was not dependable tonight."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 1 1 4
    ST LOUIS 0 1 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - STEVE BEGIN 4 (MATHIEU DANDENAULT, TOMAS PLEKANEC)
    1:01
    MON - (SH) MAXIM LAPIERRE 4 (UNASSISTED) 15:33
    2ND PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 13 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, FRANCIS
    BOUILLON) 5:14
    STL - DOUG WEIGHT 11 (BRAD

    Mar 10 11:36 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    ST LOUIS 3
    3RD PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 14 (MIKE KOMISAREK) 18:35

    Canadiens vs. BluesMar 10 11:32 PM
  • 17
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 48 roots

    Canadiens vs. BluesMar 10 11:32 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    ST LOUIS 3
    3RD PRD: STL - (PP) GLEN METROPOLIT 13 (LEE STEMPNIAK, RADEK DVORAK)
    17:52

    Canadiens vs. BluesMar 10 11:31 PM
  • 65
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 65 roots

    Canadiens vs. BluesMar 10 11:31 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    ST LOUIS 2
    3RD PRD: STL - DAVID BACKES 9 (JAY MCCLEMENT, ERIC BREWER) 7:10

    Canadiens vs. BluesMar 10 11:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 1 3
    ST LOUIS 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - STEVE BEGIN 4 (MATHIEU DANDENAULT, TOMAS PLEKANEC)
    1:01
    MON - (SH) MAXIM LAPIERRE 4 (UNASSISTED) 15:33
    2ND PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 13 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, FRANCIS
    BOUILLON) 5:14
    STL - BRAD BO

    Mar 10 10:43 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    ST LOUIS 1
    2ND PRD: STL - BRAD BOYES 16 (JEFF WOYWITKA, DOUG WEIGHT) 13:22

    Canadiens vs. BluesMar 10 10:30 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    ST LOUIS 0
    2ND PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 13 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, FRANCIS
    BOUILLON) 5:14

    Canadiens vs. BluesMar 10 10:16 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 2
    ST LOUIS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - STEVE BEGIN 4 (MATHIEU DANDENAULT, TOMAS PLEKANEC)
    1:01
    MON - (SH) MAXIM LAPIERRE 4 (UNASSISTED) 15:33
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 6 6
    STL

    Mar 10 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    ST LOUIS 0
    1ST PRD: MON - (SH) MAXIM LAPIERRE 4 (UNASSISTED) 15:33

    Canadiens vs. BluesMar 10 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    ST LOUIS 0
    1ST PRD: MON - STEVE BEGIN 4 (MATHIEU DANDENAULT, TOMAS PLEKANEC) 1:01

    Canadiens vs. BluesMar 10 8:14 PM