for this game

Higgins ignites Canadiens past Thrashers

Feb 27, 2008 - 4:35 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Christopher Higgins started a four-goal, third-period uprising with a pair of tallies as the Montreal Canadiens skated past the Atlanta Thrashers, 5-1, on Tuesday.

All-Star defenseman Andrei Markov, Sergei Kostitsyn and Maxim Lapierre also scored and captain Saku Koivu and defenseman Francis Bouillon each had two assists for Montreal, which snapped a two-game losing streak.

Rookie goaltender Carey Price made 26 saves for the Canadiens, who earlier in the day traded netminder Cristobal Huet to the Washington Capitals for a 2009 second-round pick.

"There was a little bit more (pressure)," Price said. "Moreso now than ever, but I think I'm more ready for it now than I've ever been.

"We knew we had to play well. We knew it would be tough to play when you have a teammate traded away - we tried to do as best we could and put it behind us. (Huet) was like a big brother to me, it was tough to see him go."

Former Maurice Richard Trophy winner Ilya Kovalchuk scored the lone goal for Atlanta, which lost its fourth straight game.

"It was one of those games, a 1-1 tie into the second and we had a chance to score and didn't and they scored on the power play," Kovalchuk said. "It was another loss but we have lots of games left so we need to play for our fans."

Prior to the game, the Thrashers dealt All-Star Marian Hossa and left wing Pascal Dupuis to the Pittsburgh Penguins for right wing Colby Armstrong, center Erik Christensen and prospect Angelo Esposito.

"They're hard workers (Hossa and Dupuis) and have good skills, so it's going to be interesting," Kovalchuk said.

With the game tied at 1-1, Higgins scored the first of his two goals by accepting a feed from Michael Ryder on the doorstep and depositing the puck past goalie Kari Lehtonen for a power-play goal just 2:10 into the third period.

"We had a good effort for two periods," Atlanta's Todd White said. "It was that power-play goal in the third that kind of set us back on our heels and really gave them some life and they really took it to us after that."

Higgins tallied again just under three minutes later, gathering the rebound from Markov's shot and wristing the puck past an out-of-position Lehtonen for his 21st goal of the season.

"It felt good, it's one game and we'll take it," Higgins said. "We have to build some consistency within our line and provide secondary scoring. The Kovalev line has been carrying us for too long - it would be nice to fill the role we've been intended to do since the beginning if the year."

Just over three minutes later, Markov and Kostitsyn tallied 47 seconds apart to give Montreal a 5-1 lead.

"It was pretty important for us to come up with a good effort tonight," Price said. "That was a huge two points for us tonight (and we're) trying to catch up to Pittsburgh. It was pretty emotional out there, especially with the message he (Huet) left us on the board. Saying I had an awesome time with you on and off the ice, best of luck."

Lapierre opened the scoring with 7:13 remaining in the first period.

Defenseman Josh Gorges' blast from the right point sailed wide of the net and rebounded off the end boards. Lapierre corralled the puck, quickly shifted to his left and wristed a shot past Lehtonen for his fifth goal.

"We did a pretty good job for two periods, but the third period they turned it up there and scored that second goal and kind of put us on our heels," Atlanta coach Don Waddell said.

"There's no doubt (that) Price made some exceptional saves (in the second). If we had got one, who knows what would have happened. You have to give him credit, I think we came at him pretty good in the first two periods and had some opportunities. I think he played a pretty solid game for them."

Kovalchuk leveled the contest just 2:04 into the second session.

With Atlanta on the power play, Kovalchuk skated around Montreal's Steve Begin before wristing a shot from the left faceoff circle past Price for his 41st of the season.

Mark Recchi was credited with an assist - the 850th of his career.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 1 0 1
    MONTREAL 1 0 4 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - MAXIM LAPIERRE 5 (JOSH GORGES, FRANCIS BOUILLON) 12:43
    2ND PRD: ATL - (PP) ILYA KOVALCHUK 41 (MARK RECCHI, TODD WHITE) 2:04
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 20 (MICHAEL RYDER, SAKU KOIVU) 2:10
    MON - CHRIS HIGGI

    Feb 26 10:00 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    MONTREAL 5
    3RD PRD: MON - SERGEI KOSTITSYN 7 (GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE, FRANCIS
    BOUILLON) 9:04

    Thrashers 1, Canadiens 5  3rd - 10:56Feb 26 9:44 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    MONTREAL 4
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI MARKOV 13 (CHRIS HIGGINS, MARK STREIT) 8:17

    Thrashers 1, Canadiens 4  3rd - 11:43Feb 26 9:41 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    MONTREAL 3
    3RD PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 21 (ANDREI MARKOV, SAKU KOIVU) 4:56

    Thrashers 1, Canadiens 3  3rd - 15:04Feb 26 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    MONTREAL 2
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 20 (MICHAEL RYDER, SAKU KOIVU) 2:10

    Thrashers 1, Canadiens 2  3rd - 17:50Feb 26 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 1 1
    MONTREAL 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - MAXIM LAPIERRE 5 (JOSH GORGES, FRANCIS BOUILLON) 12:43
    2ND PRD: ATL - (PP) ILYA KOVALCHUK 41 (MARK RECCHI) 2:04
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 11 10

    Feb 26 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: ATL - (PP) ILYA KOVALCHUK 41 (MARK RECCHI) 2:04

    Thrashers 1, Canadiens 1  2nd - 17:56Feb 26 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0
    MONTREAL 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - MAXIM LAPIERRE 5 (JOSH GORGES, FRANCIS BOUILLON) 12:43
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 11 11
    MON 10 10
    GOALIES: ATL - KARI LEHTONE

    Feb 26 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: MON - MAXIM LAPIERRE 5 (JOSH GORGES, FRANCIS BOUILLON) 12:43

    Thrashers 0, Canadiens 1  1st - 7:17Feb 26 8:04 PM
  • 10
    roots
    DaveWolf Added 5 roots

    Thrashers vs. CanadiensFeb 26 11:25 AM
  • 5
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Thrashers vs. CanadiensFeb 22 4:26 PM