for this game

Andrei Kostitsyn, Halak help Canadiens end slide

Feb 14, 2009 - 6:27 AM
DENVER (Ticker) -- Andrei Kostitsyn's breakaway goal and an excellent effort by their backup goaltender helped the Montreal Canadiens avoid their longest losing streak of the season.

Kostitsyn snapped a tie late in third period as the Canadiens snapped a four-game slide Friday with a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

The 24-year-old's heroics would not have been possible if not for Jaroslav Halak, who made a career-high 46 saves.

"It wasn't easy, but we got the two points, and we needed those," Halak said. "It was a tough game because they were shooting from everywhere. They were driving the net - always somebody in front of me."

Defensemen Francis Bouillon and Patrice Brisebois scored 57 seconds apart late in the first period and Tom Kostopoulos added a shorthanded empty-netter for the Canadiens, who had lost nine of their previous 11 contests.

"In the first period, (Halak) made two key saves, and we felt on the bench that it gave us momentum," Brisebois said. "Right after that, we scored a goal, and then we got another one. It was fun to play with the lead because we've been behind a lot and had to play catch-up hockey. It's hard to win games in the NHL like that."

Blue-liner Jordan Leopold and Tyler Arnason tallied and Peter Budaj stopped 19 shots for the Avalanche, who have dropped four in a row.

"It's a tough loss, but we have to find a way to get points any way we can," Leopold said. "It was a tough battle out there, and we had our chances to do something."

"It's extremely disappointing we ended up losing that game," Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles added. "It's unfortunate. I thought it was one of our better games."

With the game knotted at 2-2, defenseman Mathieu Dandenault lofted a pass over defenders to Kostitsyn, who did an excellent job corralling the bouncing puck. Kostitsyn then deked to his backhand and stuffed the puck between the pads of Budaj with 2:16 to play.

"We got the puck in the neutral zone, and at the red line, my teammate made a great pass to me in the zone," Kostitsyn said. "I got to the net and scored."

Nine seconds after Montreal blue-liner Josh Gorges was whistled for interference, Kostopoulos sealed the win with a shot from his own zone that trickled into the vacant net with 25 seconds remaining.

Less than a minute after Bouillon opened the scoring with 2:51 remaining in the first period, Brisebois doubled the Canadiens' advantage with a power-play goal.

All-Star defenseman Andrei Markov's shot from the high slot hit captain Saku Koivu in front. Brisebois collected the puck at the right faceoff circle and fired a wrist shot past an unsuspecting Budaj.

"It wasn't the prettiest of wins, but sometimes you need a game like this to get back on track and build some confidence," Koivu said. "We had some great plays by our goaltender tonight."

Montreal was dominated after taking a two-goal lead, getting outshot by a 36-9 margin over the final 40 minutes.

Fortunately for the Canadiens, Halak was spectacular. He stopped three different breakaway chances, including one by Cody McCormick midway through the third that preserved Montreal's 2-1 edge.

"We put everything at (Halak)," Colorado's Ian Laperriere said. "We tied the game at the end and they just came back. We had almost 50 shots on net, but (Halak) played well for them tonight. We should have had more than two goals, but he made a couple great saves."

"The way we've been playing lately, we needed one goalie to step up, and Jaroslav did that tonight," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "He made the saves when we needed, and I think that's a good start for our club."

Halak did make a mistake with seven minutes remaining, allowing Arnason's slap shot to trickle between his pads and forge a 2-2 deadlock.






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    Canadiens 4, Avalanche 2  FinalFeb 14 1:18 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 0 2 4
    COLORADO 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - FRANCIS BOUILLON 5 (MAX PACIORETTY, MATT D'AGOSTINI)
    17:09
    MON - (PP) PATRICE BRISEBOIS 4 (SAKU KOIVU, ANDREI MARKOV)
    18:06
    2ND PRD: COL - JORDAN LEOPOLD 6 (CODY MCCORMICK, RUSLAN SALEI) 5:46
    3RD PRD: COL - (P

    Feb 13 11:33 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    COLORADO 2
    3RD PRD: MON - (SH) (EN) TOM KOSTOPOULOS 6 (SAKU KOIVU) 19:35

    Canadiens 4, Avalanche 2  3rd - 0:25Feb 13 11:31 PM
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    Canadiens 4, Avalanche 2  3rd - 0:25Feb 13 11:31 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    COLORADO 2
    3RD PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 19 (MATHIEU DANDENAULT, JOSH GORGES)
    17:44

    Canadiens 3, Avalanche 2  3rd - 2:16Feb 13 11:28 PM
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    Canadiens 3, Avalanche 2  3rd - 2:16Feb 13 11:28 PM
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    Canadiens 2, Avalanche 2  3rd - 2:52Feb 13 11:25 PM
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    Canadiens 2, Avalanche 2  3rd - 5:23Feb 13 11:23 PM
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    Canadiens 2, Avalanche 2  3rd - 5:23Feb 13 11:20 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    COLORADO 2
    3RD PRD: COL - (PP) TYLER ARNASON 4 (JOHN-MICHAEL LILES) 13:03

    Canadiens 2, Avalanche 2  3rd - 6:57Feb 13 11:19 PM
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    Canadiens 2, Avalanche 2  3rd - 6:57Feb 13 11:19 PM
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  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 0 2
    COLORADO 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - FRANCIS BOUILLON 5 (MAX PACIORETTY, MATT D'AGOSTINI)
    17:09
    MON - (PP) PATRICE BRISEBOIS 4 (SAKU KOIVU, ANDREI MARKOV)
    18:06
    2ND PRD: COL - JORDAN LEOPOLD 6 (CODY MCCORMICK, RUSLAN SALEI) 5:46
    SHOT

    Feb 13 10:39 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    COLORADO 1
    2ND PRD: COL - JORDAN LEOPOLD 6 (CODY MCCORMICK, RUSLAN SALEI) 5:46

    Canadiens 2, Avalanche 1  2nd - 14:14Feb 13 10:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 2
    COLORADO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - FRANCIS BOUILLON 5 (MAX PACIORETTY, MATT D'AGOSTINI)
    17:09
    MON - (PP) PATRICE BRISEBOIS 4 (ANDREI MARKOV, ALEXEI
    KOVALEV) 18:06
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON

    Feb 13 9:43 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    COLORADO 0
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) PATRICE BRISEBOIS 4 (ANDREI MARKOV, ALEXEI
    KOVALEV) 18:06

    Canadiens 2, Avalanche 0  1st - 1:54Feb 13 9:42 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    COLORADO 0
    1ST PRD: MON - FRANCIS BOUILLON 5 (MAX PACIORETTY, MATT D'AGOSTINI)
    17:09

    Canadiens 1, Avalanche 0  1st - 2:51Feb 13 9:36 PM