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Monday, January 13, 2014

Montreal Canadiens Three Stars of the Week - Jan 6 - 12, 2014

montreal canadiens habs tricolore 3 stars nhl

A pair of 2-1 victories on home ice helped the Canadiens take 4 of 6 points last week. The Habs held on on to a one goal third period lead against the Panthers Monday night despite allowing 16 shots on goal in the final frame. The Habs fared less well in Philadelphia Wednesday, they were thoroughly outplayed by the streaking Flyers and dropped the match 3-1. But the team did managed to finish on a high note, the beat the defending Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks 2-1 in overtime and manage to look better than the Hawks just about every step of the way.

First Star: Tomas Plekanec

A force in all three games, Plekanec is back up to second on the team in scoring with a goal and an assist last week. Plekanec helped seal the win against the Panthers Monday night when his hard forecheck forced a turnover from Florida captain Ed Jovanovski, which led to Brian Gionta's game winner. Wednesday night, Plekanec had the Habs' only goal in a 3-1 loss to the Flyers, and while he was held pointless against the Blackhawks, Plek had 11 shots on goal Saturday night, including 3 of the team's 4 overtime shots.

Second Star: Carey Price 

Price went 2-0-0 on the week allowing just 2 goals in 121 minutes of play and stopping 45 of 47 pucks. Price's .928 save percentage has him up to fifth place in the league and his 21 wins are good enough for sixth. Price's highlight of the week may have come Tuesday morning when he was named as one of three goalies that will represent Canada in Sochi for this year's Olympic games.

Third Star: Andrei Markov

Andrei Markov had a somewhat quiet start to the week, he was held pointless Monday and Wednesday night and went -1 in each game. But the veteran blueliner ended the week with a bang, scoring both of Montreal's goals against the Blackhawks to power the team to their 2-1 OT win. Like Price and Plekanec, Markov was named to his national team and will get to represent Russia on home ice for the Sochi Olympics.

Honorable Mention: The Canadiens' Olympic Hopefuls

With the final Olympic rosters being announced this week, 8 Canadiens learned that they will be joining their country's national teams in Sochi next month, including all three of this week's stars. The other 5 Olympic hopefuls are Max Pacioretty for Team USA, Peter Budaj for Slovakia, Raphael Diaz for Team Swiss, Alexei Emelin for Russia and PK Subban who will join Carey Price on Team Canada. On top of being named to Team Czech Republic, Tomas Plekanec was given the honor of captaining the team even with the wealth of experience and leadership players like Jaromir Jagr, Patrik Elias and Petr Nedved will bring.

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