|Bournival scores to extend his point streak|
The return of long time Captain Saku Koivu called for a respectable standing ovation in particular when he was named the third star of the game. His value as a Canadien may not be fresh in the mind of the younger fans but he definitely earned his stripes playing in this city.
For the Habs getting off to a good start has not been the issue as of late, rather it has been maintaining that lead throughout the entire game.
The scoring opened past the midway point in the first period. After being unable to convert on a powerplay, the Ducks failed to clear the zone and Habs rookie Nathan Beaulieu launched a puck at the net that was tipped in front by Michael Bournival to get by Jonas Hiller. The helper for Beaulieu was his first career point. He has also been given an extended stay now that Jared Tinordi has been sent down to the farm team. Before the end of the period,Tomas Plekanec scored with a pass across the slot from Bournival.
The play of Michael Bournival is turning heads. He now has points in 4 consecutive games and amassed 5 points in 7 appearances thus far.
Tomas Plekanec has also been upping his game recently. In the last 5 games he has 7 points. With 1 goal and 2 assists against the Ducks he now sits second behind Subban for the team lead in points. He is showing the ability to play in all situations. He is the one Canadiens player that can always be counted on to produce at a consistent level and yet he always falls under the radar when he performs well. More credit should be given to the #1 center.
In the second period Price was counted on to stop more than his fair share of shots. The Ducks came out strong and hard and finished with 15 shots on goal in the frame. Price held his ground, making the necessary saves, but the defense was able to limit the amount of dangerous scoring chances. Price had a less than stellar start against the Oilers and was able to show how solid he has been in nets with a strong performance against a strong team.
Scoring the goal in the second to give the Habs a 3 goal lead was Brian Gionta. The Ducks took one penalty too many and down to a 5 on 3, a scramble in front of the net eventually ended when the puck got put in by the captain. It was the second time in the game the Canadiens scored on the man advantage moving them to 6th in the league.
There was a scary moment in the second period when Corey Perry came in hard on the boards against P.K. Subban. Subban hit the glass hard with his head and fell to the ice. He was able to play on the ensuing man advantage and did not appear to show any lingering signs of pain. Given the recent slew of injuries one could only imagine the hole it would leave if the Habs were to lose their leading scorer.
The Ducks got on the board when a costly give-away by Josh Gorges lead to a 2 on 1 putting Diaz against Nick Bonino and Patrick Maroon. Bonino crossed it to Maroon who scored his first of the year.
However, any attempt to force a late comeback was stopped when Rene Bourque slipped one by Hiller 5 hole off of a weak backhander that must of caught the net minder sleeping.
Given the recent success and the start of the Ducks this game will definitely be one to keep in mind as the red hot Sharks make their only
appearance at the Bell Center this saturday night in what many hope to be one of the most exciting games of this young season.
(Photo courtesy of the Gazette)