for this game

Latendresse, Canadiens cruise past Kings

Mar 9, 2008 - 4:30 AM
By Joel Bergman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- The Montreal Canadiens are proving to be a force in the Eastern Conference.

Guillaume Latendresse recorded a goal and an assist as the Canadiens scored three times in the second period en route to a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

Defenseman Patrice Brisebois and captain Saku Koivu also scored in the middle period and Andrei Kostitsyn and Tom Kostopoulos added third-period tallies for Montreal (38-22-9), which remained one point behind first-place New Jersey (40-23-6) in the East. The Devils posted a 2-1 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

The Canadiens also maintained their two-point lead in the Northeast Division over the Ottawa Senators (38-25-7), who skated past Phoenix on Saturday.

"At this stage of the year, every point is important," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "Two months ago, I wasn't thinking about first or second place, but now we're just concerned that we get in the playoffs and remain healthy."

Brisebois opened the scoring at 5:09 of the second period with the 400th point of his 17-year NHL career. Picking up a loose puck along the right wing boards, Brisebois fired a shot that deflected off Kings All-Star Anze Kopitar's stick and between rookie goaltender Erik Ersberg's legs.

"I was sneaking around the back door, looking for a rebound when Saku had a one-timer in the slot. The puck came back from the boards, I just looked and shot the puck and got lucky," Brisebois said. "That was my 400th point, so I was really happy, and it gave us the momentum in the game."

The Canadiens doubled the lead on a power play at 7:40. With Brian Willsie in the penalty box for slashing, All-Star Andrei Markov sent a pass across the blue line to fellow defenseman Mark Streit, whose slap shot was deflected over Ersberg's glove by Koivu for his 14th goal of the season.

"Anytime you can score five goals on the road, it's a big plus," Koivu said. "There are things that we have to improve, like being more solid defensively when we face a top team like Anaheim (on Sunday)."

With 7:17 left in the middle period, Sergei Kostitsyn dished to Latendresse, who was cutting down the slot. Latendresse drilled the puck between the left goalpost and a sliding Ersberg to give the Canadiens a 3-0 bulge.

Los Angeles left wing Dustin Brown was disappointed in his team's defensive effort.

"We've got to clean up those goals that can be prevented by not breaking down defensively," Brown said. "If you look at this game, maybe if we didn't give them a three-goal lead and were able to get one, it would have been a different game."

Defenseman Rob Blake got Los Angeles on the board with 3:07 left in the period with his seventh goal of the season. With the Kings on the power play, Michael Cammalleri sent a quick pass that bounced off a defender to Blake, who flicked the puck past netminder Jaroslav Halak for the 700th point of his career.

"We scored one goal, then two, then three, and after that, we got a little setback," Brisebois said. "The Kings really played well the last five minutes in the second and scored a goal, so they felt like they had some momentum. When we came back and scored early in the third, that broke their legs."

Andrei Kostitsyn and Kopitar traded goals early in the third before Kostopoulos sealed the victory with an empty-netter with 1:53 remaining.

Halak stopped 35 shots for his first victory of the season, while Ersberg made 18 saves.

"At the beginning, I was a little bit nervous," said Halak, who was making his first start of the season. "That was my first game in over two weeks. I needed that first shot on goal because I had been waiting for about four or five minutes. I was a little bit tired at the end. I'm very happy with the way I played and the way the guys played, and we got the two points."

"Goaltending has certainly been a huge part of our success from the very beginning, and I think the players really believe in themselves and work well together," Carbonneau said.

The loss left the Kings (27-38-5) in the NHL's basement with 59 points, one behind the idle Tampa Bay Lightning (26-34-8). Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford looked for a silver lining in his squad's latest setback.

"I think we have to concentrate on our process and execution, and, for the most part, can't be disappointed with that today," Crawford said. "We played a very good game. We had a couple of breakdowns, but you're going to have a couple of breakdowns in every game. If we can limit them to the few that we had today, most of the time you'll end up on the favorable side of it."






  • jonyboy26 Great game!

    Canadiens 5, Kings 2  FinalMar 8 10:50 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 3 2 5
    LOS ANGELES 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - PATRICE BRISEBOIS 3 (UNASSISTED) 5:09
    MON - (PP) SAKU KOIVU 14 (MARK STREIT, ANDREI MARKOV) 7:40
    MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 15 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN, JOSH
    GORGES) 12:43
    LOS - (PP) ROB BLAKE 7 (MIKE C

    Mar 8 6:37 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 5
    LOS ANGELES 2
    3RD PRD: MON - (EN) TOM KOSTOPOULOS 5 (GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE, ROMAN
    HAMRLIK) 18:07

    Canadiens 5, Kings 2  3rd - 1:53Mar 8 6:32 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    LOS ANGELES 2
    3RD PRD: LOS - ANZE KOPITAR 29 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN) 6:29

    Canadiens 4, Kings 2  3rd - 13:31Mar 8 6:10 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    LOS ANGELES 1
    3RD PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 21 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, ROMAN HAMRLIK)
    3:49

    Canadiens 4, Kings 1  3rd - 16:11Mar 8 6:07 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 3 3
    LOS ANGELES 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - PATRICE BRISEBOIS 3 (UNASSISTED) 5:09
    MON - (PP) SAKU KOIVU 14 (MARK STREIT, ANDREI MARKOV) 7:40
    MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 15 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN, JOSH
    GORGES) 12:43
    LOS - (PP) ROB BL

    Mar 8 6:00 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    LOS ANGELES 1 1:25 LEFT, 2ND PRD

    Canadiens 3, Kings 1  2nd - 1:25Mar 8 5:39 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    LOS ANGELES 0
    2ND PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 15 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN, JOSH
    GORGES) 12:43

    Canadiens 3, Kings 0  2nd - 7:17Mar 8 5:33 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    LOS ANGELES 0
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) SAKU KOIVU 14 (MARK STREIT, ANDREI MARKOV) 7:40

    Canadiens 2, Kings 0  2nd - 12:20Mar 8 5:20 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    LOS ANGELES 0
    2ND PRD: MON - PATRICE BRISEBOIS 3 (UNASSISTED) 5:09

    Canadiens 1, Kings 0  2nd - 14:51Mar 8 5:16 PM
  • 10
    roots
    jonyboy26 Added 5 roots

    Canadiens 0, Kings 0  End of 1stMar 8 4:52 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 0
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 10 10
    LOS 10 10
    GOALIES: MON - JAROSLAV HALAK
    LOS - ERIK ERSBERG

    Mar 8 4:46 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Canadiens vs. KingsMar 5 8:48 AM