for this game

Canadiens roll behind Streit's two goals

Dec 14, 2007 - 5:11 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Defenseman Mark Streit's offensive ability helped the Montreal Canadiens halt a two-game skid.

Streit scored a pair of goals and Tomas Plekanec added two assists as the Canadiens skated to a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

Christopher Higgins and Andrei Kostitsyn also tallied for Montreal, which extended its winning streak over Philadelphia to four games.

"We always seem to play them well," Higgins said. "Like with Boston, we seem to play our best against those teams. I kind of wish that we played them even more in the season."

Higgins began the outburst for the Canadiens, netting a power-play goal at 8:17 of the first period for a 1-0 lead.

From the right faceoff circle, captain Saku Koivu fed defenseman Andrei Markov, who completed a cross-crease pass from the left side. Higgins had no trouble burying the puck for his 13th tally of the season.

"We wanted to get the lead from the start," Higgins said. "I was able to get the first goal and get the team's confidence up a little bit. We moved the puck well and we realized that it's not a difficult game when we do things the right way."

"The first power-play goal stung us a bit," Philadelphia coach John Stevens said. "They made a great play and almost made it look too easy."

Kostitsyn doubled Montreal's advantage just 21 seconds into the middle session, streaking down the slot and backhanding Plekanec's pass from the left wing boards past goaltender Antero Niittymaki for his fifth goal.

Streit got into the act during a power play at 5:01 with the first of his two tallies. Standing on the doorstep, Streit converted Alexei Kovalev's feed from below the end line on the right side for his third of the campaign and a 3-0 bulge.

With the tally, Streit halted a 21-game drought. He last scored on October 26 at Carolina.

"I found a way to score," Streit said. "I've been in a slump where maybe I didn't shoot as much as I wanted to. Tonight, I scored twice, and it's a great feeling. This is very good for my confidence."

Less than five minutes later, Streit pinched in from the left point and knocked Tom Kostopoulos' cross-slot feed by Niittymaki at 9:58 for a four-goal cushion. It capped the first career multi-goal performance by the Swiss blue-liner.

"We wanted to keep it simple," Streit said. "We wanted to get the pucks to the net and hopefully get a bounce. The work we did in practice paid off for us tonight. The pucks were bouncing for us."

"He's been playing pretty well for us," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "I know it's not easy for him to score goals because he goes from defense to forward a lot of times. He's a guy that really works hard in practice, and he deserved those two goals."

Philadelphia got on the board with 4:08 remaining in the second. During a man advantage, Daniel Briere dished to Mike Richards, who signed a 12-year contract extension earlier in the day.

Richards attempted a pass to Mike Knuble, who was standing on the doorstep. But the puck caromed off the heel of Knuble's left skate and past rookie netminder Carey Price, drawing the Flyers within 4-1.

Price finished with 30 saves, while Niittymaki turned aside 19 shots.

"It was a tough game," Niittymaki said. "I didn't face too many straight shots and it was tough to get into the game. You want to stop one or two of those and keep the game tight and give the team a chance to win."

Knuble echoed Niittymaki's sentiments about the pace of the contest.

"Montreal kind of put us to sleep and it was tough to get going," he said. "It was tough to match the intensity of the other game (vs. Pittsburgh on Tuesday). They played well and they blocked a lot of shots. They deserve to win tonight."

Unwilling to take the credit, Price praised his defense for its strong effort.

"We had guys jumping in front of shots," he said. "It shows a lot of character when you're willing to be able to jump in front of shots when you have a 4-1 lead."

Briere thought Niittymaki played well despite the outcome.

"You can't blame him," Briere said. "All the plays were back-door plays, or they were right in the crease. We have to do a better job of clearing the net and picking up players. We can't blame him for what happened tonight, it was our fault."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 3 0 4
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 13 (ANDREI MARKOV, SAKU KOIVU) 8:17
    2ND PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 5 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 0:21
    MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 3 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, TOMAS PLEKANEC)
    5:01
    MON - MARK STREIT 4 (TOM KOSTOPOULOS

    Dec 13 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 3 4
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 13 (ANDREI MARKOV, SAKU KOIVU) 8:17
    2ND PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 5 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 0:21
    MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 3 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, TOMAS PLEKANEC)
    5:01
    MON - MARK STREIT 4 (TO

    Dec 13 8:40 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) MIKE KNUBLE 10 (MIKE RICHARDS, DANIEL BRIERE)
    15:52

    Canadiens vs. FlyersDec 13 8:33 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    2ND PRD: MON - MARK STREIT 4 (TOM KOSTOPOULOS, MAXIM LAPIERRE) 9:58

    Canadiens vs. FlyersDec 13 8:20 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 3 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, TOMAS PLEKANEC)
    5:01

    Canadiens vs. FlyersDec 13 8:09 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    2ND PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 5 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 0:21

    Canadiens vs. FlyersDec 13 8:01 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 13 (ANDREI MARKOV, SAKU KOIVU) 8:17
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 7 7
    PHI 10 10
    GOALIES: MON - CAREY PRICE


    Dec 13 7:42 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 13 (ANDREI MARKOV, SAKU KOIVU) 8:17

    Canadiens vs. FlyersDec 13 7:23 PM