for this game

Kovalev, Canadiens pound Bruins

Oct 23, 2007 - 3:19 AM
By Mark Lidbetter PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Success in the faceoff circle helped the Montreal Canadiens to post a second consecutive win on home ice as they handed the hot Boston Bruins a 6-1 loss Monday night.

Alexei Kovalev tallied a goal and an assist and Bryan Smolinski notched an assist in his 1,000th career game for the Canadiens, who snapped Boston's winning streak at four games.

Montreal centers won draws in the first and second period to set the table for the team's first two tallies of the night.

Captain Saku Koivu pulled the puck back toward blue-liner Mike Komisarek, who stepped into the puck and drove his shot into Bruin goalie Manny Fernandez. Chris Higgins pounced on the rebound at the top of the crease and buried the return inside the left post for a 1-0 advantage at the 12:14 mark.

"We played smart, we didn't have a ton of chances but we capitalized on most of them," Koivu said. "I think tonight that was the difference. If you compare this to our previous five games we had a lot of chances but we didn't score. Tonight they were going in for us."

In the second period, second-year center Tomas Plekanec controlled a draw in the left faceoff to Kovalev, who one-timed it from just outside the faceoff circle. The bang-bang play gave Montreal a 2-0 advantage 6:28 into the period.

Steve Begin made it a three-goal cushion with his first tally of the year with 2:12 remaining in the middle session. Defenseman Tom Kostopoulos rushed the puck from the Canadiens zone and passed to Begin, who knocked the puck home at the left post.

Boston had several quality chances but were continually frustrated by the acrobatics of Montreal netminder Cristobal Huet, who turned aside 31 of 32 shots.

"He (Huet) made some good saves tonight, but at the same time we have to be there for the second shot and setup for the rebound," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said. "Maybe we got off the gameplan a little bit in the first period. We knew they were pretty good on draws, we just need to be more focused. It's not one guy, there's five guys on the ice and sometimes there's a clean faceoff but it's everyone on the ice that has a job to do."

The Bruins had a golden opportunity in the first to open the scoring when a Montreal turnover produced a 2-on-1 break. Glen Metropolit gathered in the loose puck and raced down the left side with Glen Murray following along the left boards.

Metropolit elected to shoot, snapping off a crisp wrist shot from 30 feet out, and Huet deflected the puck right to the onrushing Murray. The veteran right wing's quick release was smothered by a diving Huet, snuffing out that chance.

With the Bruins on the power play in the second period, Huet shut the door not once but twice in succession on rookie David Krejci.

"Tonight was huge for us," Huet said. "They (Boston) were on a good roll and have been playing well. We need to play 60 minutes and have everybody contribute, if they do we will be a tough team."

After Montreal made it 4-0 on Patrice Brisebois' power play wrister from the left point, Boston finally got on the board 6:41 into the third period.

Canadiens defenseman Mark Streit was called for a holding penalty and Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman took advantage, knocking a power-play wrister from the point past Huet to cut the deficit to 4-1.

But Montreal was not finished. Veteran center Smolinski, who was playing in his 1,000th career NHL contest, took advantage of a delayed penalty by starting a 2-on-1 break with rookie Mikhail Grabovski.

As he had done 361 times previously in his career, Smolinski set up his teammate and Grabovski put a wrister past Fernandez for his first career goal 9:34 into the third.

"It was just fun to be in this game," Smolinski said. "I came in with Glen (Murray) and he'll reach his mark soon. I also remember my first goal, so to be part of that milestone for Grabovski was special."

The Canadiens added another tally three minutes later on the power play, with Andrei Markov converting an unassisted chance for his third goal of the young season.

"They did score some nice goals but we gave a lot of 2-on-1's tonight," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I think we gave more tonight than in all seven games combined. To summarize the game it was a good start, we had some chances and their goaltender made some very good saves and then those faceoffs cost us the first two goals, so it kind of changed the momentum of the game and we were back pedalling. If anything I think we lost our composure."

Fernandez made just 14 saves on 20 shots.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 0 0 1 1
    MONTREAL 1 2 3 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 3 (MIKE KOMISAREK, SAKU KOIVU) 12:14
    2ND PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 4 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 6:28
    MON - STEVE BEGIN 1 (TOM KOSTOPOULOS, ROMAN HAMRLIK) 17:48
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) PATRICE BRISEBOIS 1 (TOMAS

    Oct 22 9:59 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    MONTREAL 6
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI MARKOV 3 (SAKU KOIVU, MARK STREIT) 12:39

    Bruins vs. CanadiensOct 22 9:44 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    MONTREAL 5
    3RD PRD: MON - MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI 1 (BRYAN SMOLINSKI, MATHIEU
    DANDENAULT) 9:34

    Bruins vs. CanadiensOct 22 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    MONTREAL 4
    3RD PRD: BOS - (PP) DENNIS WIDEMAN 1 (PETER SCHAEFER, MARC SAVARD)
    6:31

    Bruins vs. CanadiensOct 22 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 0
    MONTREAL 4
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) PATRICE BRISEBOIS 1 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, ALEXEI
    KOVALEV) 0:45

    Bruins vs. CanadiensOct 22 9:26 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 0 0 0
    MONTREAL 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 3 (MIKE KOMISAREK, SAKU KOIVU) 12:14
    2ND PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 4 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 6:28
    MON - STEVE BEGIN 1 (TOM KOSTOPOULOS, ROMAN HAMRLIK) 17:48
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3R

    Oct 22 9:05 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 0
    MONTREAL 3
    2ND PRD: MON - STEVE BEGIN 1 (TOM KOSTOPOULOS, ROMAN HAMRLIK) 17:48

    Bruins vs. CanadiensOct 22 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 0
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 4 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 6:28

    Bruins vs. CanadiensOct 22 8:40 PM
  • 20
    roots
    Override Added 5 roots

    Bruins vs. CanadiensOct 22 8:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 0 0
    MONTREAL 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 3 (MIKE KOMISAREK, SAKU KOIVU) 12:14
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOS 9 9
    MON 8 8
    GOALIES: BOS - MANNY FERNANDEZ


    Oct 22 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 0
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 3 (MIKE KOMISAREK, SAKU KOIVU) 12:14

    Bruins vs. CanadiensOct 22 8:02 PM
  • 15
    roots
    GdawgH8TR Added 5 roots

    Bruins vs. CanadiensOct 22 3:30 PM
  • 10
    roots
    cramyamel Added 5 roots

    Bruins vs. CanadiensOct 21 8:09 AM
  • 5
    roots
    anorexicivan Added 5 roots

    Bruins vs. CanadiensOct 19 3:06 PM