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Listless Habs: Just what the doctor ordered for the struggling Devils

Montreal Canadiens Brian Gionta collides with New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur during the second period of NHL hockey play in Montreal, October 21, 2010. Gionta was given a penalty for goaltender interference on the play. REUTERS/Shaun Best (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

Right from the beginning of this game, the Habs looked a little out of sync. At 3:34 of the first period Travis Moen and David Clarkson were assessed five minutes each for fighting after both players battled to a draw. The fight left Clarkson with a minor cut above his left eye.  Shortly after the fight, at the 4:20 mark, Zach Parise scored his second goal of the season beating Carey Price on a softy that squeezed between Price’s body and the right post. The goal was a direct result of Travis Zajac's work behind the net who forced Josh Georges to  bobble the puck right to Parise. The Devils then continued to apply pressure in the Montreal zone where we almost saw Gomez cough up the puck in his own zone. The momentum shifted for a little while as the Habs got a little more jump in their game when Brian Gionta came in from the right side of the Devils end to rifle the puck. Martin Brodeur stopped the shot to keep the score at 1-0.

With only 5:35 left in the period Jaroslav Spacek gave the puck away on a bad turnover to who else but Ilya Kovalchuk but luckily for the Habs, Kovalchuk missed the net helping the Habs avoid a 2-0 deficit. Montreal outshot New Jersey 10-3 in the period but trailed after one.

Monteal started the second period with more sloppy play which led to a questionable goalie interference call by Stephane Auger on Gionta. On the ensuing power play, Price made a good glove save on Kovalchuk.  Later in the period Andrei Kostitsyn blew a tire while trying to skate to center ice which led to Price having to make his second glove save of the period. Mid way through the period Montreal finally got a scoring chance when Benoit Pouliot flipped the puck ahead and it found its way onto Maxim Lapierre’s stick. The latter went on to make a few nice moves but was unable to fool Brodeur with his shot. At 14:59 of the second period Jason Arnott scored his third goal of the season giving the Devils a 2-0 lead after his shot deflected off of Dustin Boyd’s stick. Montreal finally got a power play to try to get back in the game but it was short lived when Auger decided to make another questionable call on Gionta for goalie interference once again. New Jersey ended up enjoying a short 5 on 3 at the end of the period but Montreal's PK unit continued to do a good job.  The period ended with with 33 seconds of penalty time to kill at the start of the third.

The Canadiens successfully killed off the rest of the penalty that carried over from the second. This gave them a little bit of life, as we saw P.K. Subban do his best impression of the “Dennis Savard spin-o-rama” and then dished the puck in front of the net towards Scott Gomez but number 11 was unable to cash it in. We also saw Jacques Martin tinker with his lines a bit by moving Michael Cammalleri down to the second line and Lars Eller on the first.  At the11:56 mark Danius Zubrus got a hooking penalty and this led to some of Montreal’s best scoring chances of the game, including two masterful saves by Brodeur on Gionta.

After Montreal failed to score on this power play they never seemed to recover and they continued playing as if the game was in slow motion. Price continued to try and keep his team in the game by robbing Arnott point blank with 2:09 left to play but at this point the game was already lost. After a four day break Montreal delivered their worst performance of the season which was reflected by the final score. Martin Brodeur got his 9th career shutout against the Habs.

HiD Three Stars

  1. Martin Brodeur
  2. Stephane Auger
  3. Carey Price

HiD Turning Point

Montreal's inability to generate any offense against Martin Brodeur

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

Comments

raginglogan's picture

Quick explanation

I just felt that Auger had a biger impact in the game than any player from either side, except the goalies of course.

mitin's picture

lol

i didn't even notice auger was a second star. Good post

Habs is my religion

amit's picture

lol Auger gets a star?

Really?  Did he get the star from the Devil's side or from the Habs side?  Well considering he didn't do much for the Habs, I'd assume he played really well for the Devils? LOL