for this game

Andrei Kostitsyn pushes Canadiens into first place in East

Mar 2, 2008 - 4:44 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Andrei Kostitsyn scored a power-play goal with 5:43 remaining in the third period to lift the Montreal Canadiens into first place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.

Defenseman Mark Streit also scored with the man advantage for Montreal (36-21-9), which moved past New Jersey (37-23-6) and the Ottawa Senators (37-23-6) and into the top spot in the conference.

Rookie goaltender Carey Price finished with 31 saves to record his third straight victory since Cristobal Huet was traded to the Washington Capitals at Tuesday's deadline.

"It's big for us to be able to win close games," Price said. "It felt a lot like a playoff game, and that's how we're going to have to play for the rest of the year. I think we're all on top of our game. We're playing really well as a group and we're all clicking all over the ice."

Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau agreed with Price's assessment.

"We played really good hockey in the first half (of the season), but since Christmas, I think we've played really great hockey," Carbonneau said. "The guys in the room have a lot of character, and the younger guys have grown up a lot quicker than we expected."

Brian Gionta scored the lone goal for New Jersey, which fell to 7-2-2 in its last 11 games.

With the contest tied at 1-1 in the third period, Christopher Higgins wristed a shot from the right faceoff circle that sailed wide of the net. Alertly, Kostitsyn corralled the puck and tried to beat goaltender Martin Brodeur to the right goalpost.

Although the three-time Vezina Trophy winner was able to get there first, the Russian deflected the puck off Brodeur's paddle and into the net for his 20th goal of the season.

"It was an exciting game to watch or play in," Brodeur said. "There's great atmosphere in this building, and I haven't played in a building that loud, so it was kind of fun for everybody. The outcome wasn't too much fun.

"They played well, you have to give them credit - they didn't give us much. We barely had three or four good scoring chances on Price. Our power play didn't do much, but we stayed in the game. We're just having problems scoring goals and creating chances as of late, and it was the same thing tonight."

Montreal, which scored three power-play goals in Friday's 6-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres, went 2-for-6 with the man advantage in this one.

"We played well all game, then a couple of calls against us and we're down 5-on-3," New Jersey's Zach Parise said. "They score on the 5-on-4, but still, I thought we deserved a little bit better outcome than that.

"We have to start generating some more offense on the transition and sustain a little better forecheck. We haven't done that. We did a little better tonight, but we have to do better than that."

Just over six minutes into the second period, Alexei Kovalev wristed a centering feed that captain Saku Koivu inadvertently deflected to Streit. The blue-liner quickly beat Brodeur for his 12th goal of the campaign and second in as many games.

"I think we've found a good way of playing right now," Streit said. "I think we are more consistent than at the beginning of the year. We play well defensively and covered the dangerous ice pretty well. ... Everyone is working very hard, and I think that is the key to the success."

Gionta leveled the contest nearly 7 1/2 minutes later with an alert play.

Defenseman Colin White wristed a shot that Price seemingly handled, but with blue-liner Mike Mottau stationed at the right of the net, the rookie netminder turned his attention toward him.

Gionta skated in from the wing, corralled the loose puck that was resting near Price's right pad and backhanded it into the net for his 18th tally.

Brodeur finished with 23 saves.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 0 1
    MONTREAL 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 12 (SAKU KOIVU, ALEXEI KOVALEV) 6:11
    NJD - BRIAN GIONTA 18 (MIKE MOTTAU, COLIN WHITE) 13:37
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI KOSTITSYN 20 (CHRIS HIGGINS, SERGEI
    KOSTITSYN) 14:17
    POWER-P

    Mar 1 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 1
    MONTREAL 2
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI KOSTITSYN 20 (CHRIS HIGGINS, SERGEI
    KOSTITSYN) 14:17

    Devils 1, Canadiens 2  3rd - 5:43Mar 1 9:18 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Devils 1, Canadiens 1  3rd - 7:00Mar 1 9:14 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 1 1
    MONTREAL 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 12 (SAKU KOIVU, ALEXEI KOVALEV) 6:11
    NJD - BRIAN GIONTA 18 (MIKE MOTTAU, COLIN WHITE) 13:37
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NJD 13

    Mar 1 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 1
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: NJD - BRIAN GIONTA 18 (MIKE MOTTAU, COLIN WHITE) 13:37

    Devils 1, Canadiens 1  2nd - 6:23Mar 1 8:26 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 0
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 12 (SAKU KOIVU, ALEXEI KOVALEV) 6:11

    Devils 0, Canadiens 1  2nd - 13:49Mar 1 8:13 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 0 0
    MONTREAL 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NJD 12 12
    MON 8 8
    GOALIES: NJD - MARTIN BRODEUR
    MON - CAREY PRICE

    Mar 1 7:45 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Devils vs. CanadiensFeb 22 4:23 PM