for this game

Latendresse scores twice as Canadiens cruise past Capitals

Dec 21, 2007 - 4:19 AM
By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) - Guillaume Latendresse and the Montreal Canadiens got a season-long six-game road trek off to a good start.

Latendresse scored twice to lead the Canadiens to a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Kostitsyn and defenseman Mark Streit also scored for Montreal, which has won six of seven against Washington.

"We play a pretty simple game on the road, although tonight was a bit uglier than usual," said Canadiens left wing Christopher Higgins, who assisted on a goal. "We get away from that at home a little bit. We try to entertain the fans a little too much with cute plays. On the road, we do a better job executing our plays and putting the puck in the right positions."

The Canadiens, who began their longest trip away from home in nearly two years, looked to the 20-year-old Latendresse to be the difference-maker against the Capitals.

Latendresse, who did not dress for Montreal's last game, scored on a power play in the first period after a feed from captain Saku Koivu. The second-year player blasted a shot past goaltender Olaf Kolzig, giving the Canadiens a 1-0 lead with 1:45 left in the session.

"Saku gave me a nice pass in the slot," Latendresse said. "That's where the coach wanted me to be, and I buried it."

Montreal upped its lead when Alexei Kovalev made a nice cross-ice pass to Plekanec, who punched the puck home at the 6:33 mark of the second period.

After Nicklas Backstrom halved the deficit for Washington at 9:10 of the period, Latendresse tallied off a faceoff to give Montreal a 3-1 lead with 2:54 remaining in the session.

"Guillaume has been good all year. He's a goal-scorer," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "He has a knack for goals. He has good hands around the net, and that's where we want him to be. He has to play without the puck. Sometimes guys decide change their style, and that's never good for the team. I think tonight he came back with a good attitude and we got the results."

It was Latendresse's second two-goal game of the season and fourth of his career for the Canadiens, who tallied both of their second-period goals on just two shots.

Kostitsyn scored with a man-advantage at 9:34 of the final period and Streit tallied with 81 seconds left to make it 5-2.

"You are not going to play a perfect game," Capitals interim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "You are going to make mistakes. It's making the mistakes and recovering from them. The Canadiens made a lot of mistakes, but they got away with them because we couldn't finish."

Netminder Cristobal Huet stopped 35 shots for the Canadiens, who are tied with Ottawa for the most road wins in the Eastern Conference.

"Cristobal was very good," Carbonneau said of the Montreal goalie who missed his seven previous games - five because of injury. "After being off, he came back very strong. They were shooting the puck from everywhere. I was anticipating he was going to get tired at the end, but he didn't. His focus was really good, he was around the puck and made the difference."

Alexander Semin scored his fourth goal of the season and Kolzig made 16 saves for Washington, which has dropped two straight.

"From forwards to defense to goalie, I don't think we're happy with how we performed tonight," Capitals center Brooks Laich said. "We can't give away games like this."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 2 2 5
    WASHINGTON 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 8 (SAKU KOIVU, CHRIS
    HIGGINS) 15:18
    2ND PRD: MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 11 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, SIARHEI KASTSITSYN)
    6:33
    WAS - NICKLAS BACKSTROM 6 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN, MIKE GREEN)
    9:10
    MON - G

    Dec 20 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 5
    WASHINGTON 2
    3RD PRD: MON - MARK STREIT 5 (KYLE CHIPCHURA, FRANCIS BOUILLON) 18:39

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsDec 20 9:24 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    WASHINGTON 2
    3RD PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER SEMIN 4 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM) 10:08

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsDec 20 9:12 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    WASHINGTON 1
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) SIARHEI KASTSITSYN 1 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, MARK STREIT)
    9:34

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsDec 20 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 2 3
    WASHINGTON 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 8 (SAKU KOIVU, CHRIS
    HIGGINS) 15:18
    2ND PRD: MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 11 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, SIARHEI KASTSITSYN)
    6:33
    WAS - NICKLAS BACKSTROM 6 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN, MIKE GREEN)

    Dec 20 8:29 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    WASHINGTON 1
    2ND PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 9 (MATHIEU DANDENAULT, MAXIM
    LAPIERRE) 17:06

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsDec 20 8:27 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    WASHINGTON 1
    2ND PRD: WAS - NICKLAS BACKSTROM 6 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN, MIKE GREEN)
    9:10

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsDec 20 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    WASHINGTON 0
    2ND PRD: MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 11 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, SIARHEI KASTSITSYN)
    6:33

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsDec 20 8:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 1
    WASHINGTON 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 8 (SAKU KOIVU, CHRIS
    HIGGINS) 15:18
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 6 6
    WAS 14 14
    GOALIES: MON - CRI

    Dec 20 7:40 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    WASHINGTON 0
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 8 (SAKU KOIVU, CHRIS
    HIGGINS) 15:18

    Canadiens vs. CapitalsDec 20 7:40 PM