for this game

Kovalev tallies twice as Canadiens win sixth straight at home

Mar 25, 2007 - 3:57 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Alexei Kovalev's first multi-goal performance of the season came at just the right time for the Montreal Canadiens.

Kovalev scored twice and Jaroslav Halak made 27 saves as the Canadiens extended their winning streak to four games with a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals.

Tomas Plekanec and Michael Ryder also tallied for Montreal (39-31-6), which remained even with the Carolina Hurricanes (38-29-8) for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

"Right now, we've started winning, but everybody is winning," Kovalev said. "Like I've said many times, we shouldn't focus on what other teams do, we need to focus on our games, and then look at the standings after."

Both teams are one point ahead of the New York Islanders (36-27-11) for the final playoff spot.

"I think there's a lot of good things going on for us right now," Canadiens captain Saku Koivu said. "However, the reality is everybody is waiting to see what happens in other games."

After captain Chris Clark deflected a shot by Alexander Semin past Halak to give Washington a 1-0 lead 5:53 into the contest, Kovalev took control. The talented Russian, who entered with just 14 goals in 66 games this season, tied it at 8:59, when he gained control of the puck behind the net and jammed it between the skate of goaltender Olaf Kolzig and the right goalpost.

"As long as the puck crosses the line, they all count," Kovalev said.

With the Canadiens on a power play midway through the second, Kovalev buried the rebound of Koivu's shot at 9:36 for a 2-1 edge.

"Every time Alex gets near the puck in the offensive zone, he makes things happen," Koivu said. "Sometimes it ends up being a goal, sometimes not, but those were big goals for us tonight."

Plekanec made it a two-goal bulge with 4:54 left in the period and Ryder scored his team-leading 25th goal with 5:10 remaining in the third for the Canadiens, who have won six straight at home.

After Washington's early tally, Halak shut the door on the Capitals for his fourth straight win and seventh in 11 games since being called up from Hamilton of the American Hockey League on February 15.

"Semin and (Alex) Ovechkin shoot the puck really fast, but the guys in front of me played really well and made my job easier," Halak said.

Kolzig stopped 36 shots for Washington, which dropped its seventh straight road game and third in a row overall.

"You have to give the Canadiens full marks," Kolzig said. "We didn't play bad, but we didn't play nearly as good as they did."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 0 0 1
    MONTREAL 1 2 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) CHRIS CLARK 29 (ALEXANDER SEMIN, BRIAN POTHIER)
    5:53
    MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 15 (MAXIM LAPIERRE) 8:59
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 16 (SAKU KOIVU, SHELDON SOURAY)
    9:36
    MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 19 (ANDREI K

    Mar 24 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    MONTREAL 4
    3RD PRD: MON - MICHAEL RYDER 25 (MATHIEU DANDENAULT) 14:50

    Capitals vs. CanadiensMar 24 9:27 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 0 1
    MONTREAL 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) ALEXANDER SEMIN 38 (BRIAN POTHIER) 5:53
    MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 15 (MAXIM LAPIERRE) 8:59
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 16 (SAKU KOIVU, SHELDON SOURAY)
    9:36
    MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 19 (ANDREI KO

    Mar 24 8:44 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    MONTREAL 3
    2ND PRD: MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 19 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN) 15:04

    Capitals vs. CanadiensMar 24 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 16 (SAKU KOIVU, SHELDON SOURAY)
    9:36

    Capitals vs. CanadiensMar 24 8:23 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 1
    MONTREAL 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) ALEXANDER SEMIN 38 (BRIAN POTHIER) 5:53
    MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 15 (MAXIM LAPIERRE) 8:59
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 10 10
    MON 14

    Mar 24 7:47 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 15 (MAXIM LAPIERRE) 8:59

    Capitals vs. CanadiensMar 24 7:27 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    MONTREAL 0
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) ALEXANDER SEMIN 38 (BRIAN POTHIER) 5:53

    Capitals vs. CanadiensMar 24 7:20 PM