for this game

Kovalev tallies twice as Canadiens down Bruins

Mar 21, 2008 - 4:12 AM
By Tony Lee PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Montreal Canadiens' mastery of the Boston Bruins reached an historic level Thursday night.

Alexei Kovalev scored two highlight-reel goals and added an assist and rookie Carey Price stopped 34 shots as the Canadiens gained the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a 4-2 win over the Bruins.

With the win, Montreal (41-24-10) jumped one point ahead of idle New Jersey (42-24-7) for first place in the East and extended its winning streak against Boston to 10 games. The last time the Canadiens had won that many in a row vs. the Bruins was during World War II.

"Everything seems to just work for us against Boston," Kovalev said.

"(The Bruins) are in every game they play against us," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "They seem to give up goals that they usually don't give up against other teams."

Boston (37-28-9), meanwhile, fell to 2-5-3 in its last 10 games and remained just one point ahead of idle Philadelphia (36-28-10) for seventh place in the conference.

With another meeting between the teams on Saturday, the Bruins were not interested in brooding over the lopsided state of affairs in the rivalry.

"It's not about (the Canadiens) right now, it's about us," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "That's not my preoccupation. My preoccupation is with the next game."

Defensemen Mark Stuart and Dennis Wideman scored and Tim Thomas made 26 saves for the Bruins, who welcomed back All-Star defenseman Zdeno Chara after the captain missed the previous five games with an upper body injury.

Boston actually was the aggressor early, outshooting Montreal in the first period, 15-6. The Bruins dominated early in the second and appeared to have momentum following a big hit by Jeremy Reich, who followed by outpunching Tom Kostopoulos to bring the home crowd to its feet.

With a large amount of Montreal fans in attendance, Kovalev immediately replied with a pretty goal to open the scoring. After skating into the offensive zone, he burned Chara with a spin move and unleashed a backhander that trickled between Thomas' pads at 8:19 of the period.

"It was a regular save," Thomas said. "I squeezed (the puck) against my body and I was surprised as anyone when the crowd started cheering."

Kovalev's encore came just over five minutes later, when he skated end-to-end before splitting between Chara and Wideman to net his 33rd goal of the season.

"On the second one, I just went wide," Kovalev said. "Chara looked like he was a little flat-footed on that one. I know how tough it is coming back your first game after an injury. You get tired really quick. I just tried to make a move to see if it worked."

"He's a good player, a real good player," Wideman said of Kovalev. "He's gonna make plays. Most of those plays came from my side tonight. I didn't do a good-enough job of shutting Kovalev down."

The Bruins halved the deficit 27 seconds later, when, after defenseman Shane Hnidy dived to keep the puck in the zone, Stuart fired a slap shot past Price for his fourth goal this season.

Captain Saku Koivu set up Michael Ryder for a one-timer at 6:47 of the third that gave Montreal a 3-1 advantage, and Andrei Kostitsyn extended the lead at 11:13 with his 22nd of the campaign.

"That is just the way it goes sometimes," Price said. "Some teams just play good against other teams."

Wideman buried a slap shot from the right point with 3:05 left for the Bruins to cap the scoring.

The Canadiens have outscored the Bruins, 36-14, this season.

"I don't know if amazed is the right word," Thomas said when asked about the dominance. "Frustrated. I've seen this in the minors where one team beats another all year long, but I don't know if I've ever seen it at the NHL level."

Boston has scored just eight goals in its last six games overall.

"I can't put the puck in the net for the players, you know?" Julien said. "Somewhere in that dressing room, there's somebody who's got some goals in them, and it's time we step out and start scoring some goals if we want to win some hockey games."






  • 10
    roots
    bigbelly Added 5 roots

    Canadiens 4, Bruins 2  FinalMar 20 9:38 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 2 2 4
    BOSTON 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 32 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, JOSH GORGES) 8:20
    MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 33 (UNASSISTED) 13:21
    BOS - MARK STUART 4 (SHANE HNIDY, CHUCK KOBASEW) 13:48
    3RD PRD: MON - MICHAEL RYDER 14 (SAKU KOIVU,

    Mar 20 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    BOSTON 2
    3RD PRD: BOS - DENNIS WIDEMAN 12 (PETTERI NOKELAINEN) 16:55

    Canadiens 4, Bruins 2  3rd - 3:05Mar 20 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    BOSTON 1
    3RD PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 22 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, MARK STREIT) 11:13

    Canadiens 4, Bruins 1  3rd - 8:47Mar 20 9:20 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    BOSTON 1
    3RD PRD: MON - MICHAEL RYDER 14 (SAKU KOIVU, GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE)
    6:47

    Canadiens 3, Bruins 1  3rd - 13:13Mar 20 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 2 2
    BOSTON 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 32 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 8:20
    MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 33 (UNASSISTED) 13:21
    BOS - MARK STUART 4 (SHANE HNIDY, CHUCK KOBASEW) 13:48
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    ---

    Mar 20 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    BOSTON 1
    2ND PRD: BOS - MARK STUART 4 (SHANE HNIDY, CHUCK KOBASEW) 13:48

    Canadiens 2, Bruins 1  2nd - 6:12Mar 20 8:30 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    BOSTON 0
    2ND PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 33 (UNASSISTED) 13:21

    Canadiens 2, Bruins 0  2nd - 6:39Mar 20 8:29 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    BOSTON 0
    2ND PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 32 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 8:20

    Canadiens 1, Bruins 0  2nd - 11:40Mar 20 8:20 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 0
    BOSTON 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 6 6
    BOS 15 15
    GOALIES: MON - CAREY PRICE
    BOS - TIM THOMAS

    Mar 20 7:47 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Canadiens vs. BruinsMar 20 8:35 AM