for this game

Kovalev sparks Canadiens to easy win

Feb 22, 2009 - 12:19 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Perhaps some time away from the team was just what Alexei Kovalev needed.

Kovalev returned from his two-game hiatus to record a goal and two assists Saturday, powering the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

It ended a 10-game goal drought for the enigmatic All-Star, who, according to the team, was sent home from the final two contests of Montreal's six-game road trip to clear his head.

"I was joking with my teammates that I feel like I was just traded and was starting fresh all over again," Kovalev said.

Kovalev's saga was one of just three controversies this week in Montreal that left a hockey-mad city in an uproar.

On Tuesday, former Montreal coach Jean Perron created a stir when he suggested that Sergei Kostitsyn, Christopher Higgins and goaltender Carey Price were enjoying the Montreal night life too much and that their partying was negatively affecting their play.

That story was trumped on Friday, however, when a report in French newspaper stated that the Kostitsyn brothers - Andrei and Sergei - were linked to an alleged member of an organized crime ring recently arrested on drug-trafficking and illegal weapons charges.

"It's been tough for us," Canadiens captain Saku Koivu said. "We had a tough road trip (1-4-1). I felt we played better the last three games but we only came up with one point. The team defensive game has been there and tonight it paid off."

The Canadiens know the best way to quiet the kind of controversies that seem to arise only in Montreal is to win hockey games.

They accomplished that Saturday by scoring three power-play goals to open a 4-0 lead less than seven minutes into the second period.

Tomas Plekanec and Kovalev scored in the opening 5:38 before Mathieu Schneider and Patrice Brisebois added power-play goals in the first seven minutes of the second period to give Montreal a commanding four-goal advantage.

While Kovalev has been criticized for lackadaisical play throughout his career, he has the support of his teammates.

"When (Kovalev) wants to play hard and work, he's really good, there's no doubt about that, and he can help this club win games," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said.

The Canadiens won for only the fourth time in their last 16 games (4-11-1).

"I played with (Kovalev) in New York and I think everybody knows the talent he has, what he's capable of doing and the way he's capable of controlling the play," Montreal defenseman Mathieu Schneider said. "He's doing it in probably the best hockey city in the world and it's fun to watch him play and play with him."

Trailing 5-2, Ottawa had a chance to get back in the game early in the third period but failed to score on a pair of two-man advantages, one for 47 seconds and the other for 33 seconds.

Montreal backup Jaroslav Halak finished with 44 saves, holding off an onslaught in the third period when the Canadiens were outshot, 22-4.

Ottawa's Brian Elliott was pulled after allowing three goals on 17 shots in the first 23:25 and replaced by Alex Auld, who stopped 13 of 15 shots.

"Their power play was working well," Ottawa center Mike Fisher said. "We just couldn't seem to stop them. The last part of the game, I thought we played pretty good, but too little, too late again."

After the Senators halved the 4-0 deficit on goals by Jarkko Ruutu and Dany Heatley 2:09 apart midway through the second period, Montreal's Mathieu Dandenault delivered the back-breaker with 19 seconds left in the second.

Heatley added his second of the game on the power play to complete the scoring with 2:54 left in the contest.






  • 10
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Senators 3, Canadiens 5  FinalFeb 21 7:30 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 2 1 3
    MONTREAL 2 3 0 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) TOMAS PLEKANEC 15 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, ANDREI MARKOV)
    2:23
    MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 14 (UNASSISTED) 5:38
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) MATHIEU SCHNEIDER 6 (SAKU KOIVU, CHRIS HIGGINS)
    3:25
    MON - (PP) PATRICE BRISEBOIS 5 (ROM

    Feb 21 5:42 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 3
    MONTREAL 5
    3RD PRD: OTT - (PP) DANY HEATLEY 29 (JASON SPEZZA, DANIEL ALFREDSSON)
    17:06 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Senators 3, Canadiens 5  3rd - 2:54Feb 21 5:38 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 2 2
    MONTREAL 2 3 5 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) TOMAS PLEKANEC 15 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, ANDREI MARKOV)
    2:23
    MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 14 (UNASSISTED) 5:38
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) MATHIEU SCHNEIDER 6 (SAKU KOIVU, CHRIS HIGGINS)
    3:25
    MON - (PP) PATRICE BRI

    Feb 21 4:47 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 2
    MONTREAL 5
    2ND PRD: MON - MATHIEU DANDENAULT 2 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, KYLE CHIPCHURA)
    19:41

    Senators 2, Canadiens 5  2nd - 0:19Feb 21 4:46 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 2
    MONTREAL 4
    2ND PRD: OTT - DANY HEATLEY 28 (JASON SPEZZA, CHRIS CAMPOLI) 9:49

    Senators 2, Canadiens 4  2nd - 10:11Feb 21 4:27 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    MONTREAL 4
    2ND PRD: OTT - JARKKO RUUTU 4 (JESSE WINCHESTER, CHRIS CAMPOLI) 7:40

    Senators 1, Canadiens 4  2nd - 12:20Feb 21 4:23 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    MONTREAL 4
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) PATRICE BRISEBOIS 5 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, ALEXEI
    KOVALEV) 6:47

    Senators 0, Canadiens 4  2nd - 13:13Feb 21 4:19 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    MONTREAL 3
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) MATHIEU SCHNEIDER 6 (SAKU KOIVU, CHRIS HIGGINS)
    3:25

    Senators 0, Canadiens 3  2nd - 16:35Feb 21 4:13 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0
    MONTREAL 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) TOMAS PLEKANEC 15 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, ANDREI MARKOV)
    2:23
    MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 14 (UNASSISTED) 5:38
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 10 10
    MON

    Feb 21 3:46 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    MONTREAL 2
    1ST PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 14 (UNASSISTED) 5:38

    Senators 0, Canadiens 2  1st - 14:22Feb 21 3:21 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) TOMAS PLEKANEC 15 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, ANDREI MARKOV)
    2:23

    Senators 0, Canadiens 1  1st - 17:37Feb 21 3:16 PM
  • 5
    roots
    sensfaninohio Added 5 roots

    Senators vs. CanadiensJan 26 2:39 PM