for this game

Koivu, Canadiens topple Flyers

Nov 2, 2007 - 4:06 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Saku Koivu came through loud and clear on Thursday.

The Montreal Canadiens' captain had a goal and an assist and Alexei Kovalev scored his fourth tally in five games to lead the team to a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Koivu, who drew the ire of the Montreal fans for not speaking French on Wednesday, opened the scoring less than nine minutes into the game.

With a penalty waiting to be called on the Flyers, netminder Cristobal Huet raced to the bench to allow Koivu to join the play as the extra attacker. Defenseman Roman Hamrlik dropped the puck to the rushing Finn, who wristed a shot between goaltender Martin Biron's pads for his fourth goal of the season.

"They have some skill, they have some size, but tonight, we had some jump," Koivu said. "We played our style, we didn't turn the puck over at all and we were able to create some offense when we got the puck deep in their zone. It was a good game for us."

Kovalev's power-play goal broke open the game in the second period.

With the contest tied at 1-1 with 7:28 remaining in the session, Kovalev worked his way along the boards in offensive zone before cutting back to the top of the left faceoff circle and wristing a shot that beat Biron just under the crossbar.

The Canadiens, who have scored on 16-of-42 power plays in their last seven games, now have a league-best 21 goals with the man advantage.

Tom Kostopoulos added a shorthanded tally just over four minutes later to increase the advantage to 3-1 for Montreal, which has won five of its last six games.

Kostopoulos stripped the puck from Mike Richards at his own blue line and moved down the left wing with defenseman Andrei Markov trailing. After a brief exchange between the two, Kostopoulos one-timed the return pass past Biron at 11:38.

A great individual play by Koivu gave the Canadiens their fourth goal.

Koivu stripped Flyers captain Jason Smith of the puck and raced up the wing before feeding Guillaume Latendresse at the goal mouth for an easy tap-in at 8:21 of the third.

"The way we played with the lead in the third period is the way we have to do it," Koivu said. "Throughout the season, for the most part, we've played well, but last game (against Atlanta) was a different mind set. We had lost focus.

"It was real important for us to come out strong and play a good game, and I think we played all three periods real well."

Christopher Higgins scored on a 5-on-3 power play, gathering a rebound in front of the net and burying it with just over three minutes remaining in the period.

Richards scored his team-leading seventh goal to level the game at 1-1 with 3:10 remaining in the first period.

Daniel Briere accepted a feed from defenseman Kimmo Timonen and weaved his way through the offensive zone before backhanding a pass to Richards, whose shot caromed off Markov's skate and into the net for a power-play goal.

"We knew there was going to be energy in the building, it's one of the best places to play in," Richards said. "There was energy out there until the end of the game, and we didn't do enough to take them out of it.

"We've been giving up shots, a lot every night, and Montreal's a good team, they capitalized on their opportunities and we gave them too many solid opportunities and second chances. The best thing is, we're turning around and doing it again (in Washington on Friday). We obviously didn't play our best game tonight, so we hope to turn it around with a better one."

Montreal fans booed Briere every time he touched the puck. The 5-9, 177-pound French-Canadian spurned an offer from the Canadiens before signing an eight-year, $52 million deal with the Flyers on July 1.

"It wasn't hard, it was a lot of fun," Briere said of his reception. "Especially early on, it was motivational, it was a great atmosphere to play in. Obviously, I'm disappointed with the result - we didn't get to show the real Flyers."

Scottie Upshall, playing his first game since suffering a broken wrist in the preseason, scored with 28 seconds remaining in the final period.

"We didn't do a very good job of checking them. We let their forwards come up the ice too fast," Philadelphia coach John Stevens said. "Montreal moves the puck real well and, right now, they're built like Carolina - with speed and they move the puck over."

Biron made 36 saves for Philadelphia, while Huet stopped 17 shots for Montreal.

Philadelphia defenseman Randy Jones served the first contest of his two-game suspension, which was handed down Monday for his hit on Boston's Patrice Bergeron in the Flyers' 2-1 victory on Saturday.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 1 2
    MONTREAL 1 2 2 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - SAKU KOIVU 4 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, KYLE CHIPCHURA) 8:53
    PHI - (PP) MIKE RICHARDS 7 (DANIEL BRIERE, KIMMO TIMONEN)
    16:50
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 7 (UNASSISTED) 7:28
    MON - (SH) TOM KOSTOPOULOS 1 (ANDREI MARK

    Nov 1 10:21 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    MONTREAL 5
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) SCOTTIE UPSHALL 1 (JEFF CARTER, LASSE KUKKONEN)
    19:32

    Flyers vs. CanadiensNov 1 10:20 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    MONTREAL 5
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 5 (MARK STREIT, MICHAEL RYDER) 16:42

    Flyers vs. CanadiensNov 1 10:16 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    MONTREAL 4
    3RD PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 2 (SAKU KOIVU) 8:21

    Flyers vs. CanadiensNov 1 9:56 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 1
    MONTREAL 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - SAKU KOIVU 4 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, KYLE CHIPCHURA) 8:53
    PHI - (PP) MIKE RICHARDS 7 (DANIEL BRIERE, KIMMO TIMONEN)
    16:50
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 7 (UNASSISTED) 7:28
    MON - (SH) TOM KOSTOPOULOS 1

    Nov 1 9:21 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    MONTREAL 3
    2ND PRD: MON - (SH) TOM KOSTOPOULOS 1 (ANDREI MARKOV) 11:38

    Flyers vs. CanadiensNov 1 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 7 (UNASSISTED) 7:28

    Flyers vs. CanadiensNov 1 8:59 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 1
    MONTREAL 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - SAKU KOIVU 4 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, KYLE CHIPCHURA) 8:53
    PHI - (PP) MIKE RICHARDS 7 (DANIEL BRIERE, KIMMO TIMONEN)
    16:50
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 6

    Nov 1 8:28 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: PHI - (PP) MIKE RICHARDS 7 (DANIEL BRIERE, KIMMO TIMONEN)
    16:50

    Flyers vs. CanadiensNov 1 8:22 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: MON - SAKU KOIVU 4 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, KYLE CHIPCHURA) 8:53

    Flyers vs. CanadiensNov 1 8:07 PM