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Toronto @ Montreal | Feb. 7 2008 | Final: 4-2 Toronto


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VS

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At Bell Center

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With Ottawa's top line decimated by injuries, the Montreal Canadiens' best trio put on a show to draw the team within reach of the Eastern Conference summit.

Tomas Plekanec had two goals and an assist, and Andrei Kostitsyn had a goal and two assists in Montreal's 4-3 victory Tuesday night.

Linemate Alex Kovalev had three assists as Montreal's top line combined for nine points and the Canadiens ended a six-game losing streak against Ottawa, including their three previous meetings earlier this season.

"Those guys have been so consistent," Canadiens defenseman Mike Komisarek said. "They're just flying out there. I'm sure glad I'm not playing against those three guys. They just seem to be finding each other all over the ice. They have great chemistry and they're getting chances and they're burying them, so they're a big reason why we've had so much success this season."

Mark Streit had a goal and an assist in the second, and Cristobal Huet made 26 saves as Montreal moved within one point of the Northeast Division-leading Senators, who also sit atop the Eastern Conference with 68 points.

"We all know nobody trusted us before the season," Plekanec said. "We were supposed to be in 13th or 12th place right now, and we are where we are and we know what we can do, but we're not going to get overconfident, that's for sure."

The Canadiens, who failed to make the playoffs last season for the fifth time in eight seasons, host Toronto on Thursday before another summit meeting in Ottawa two nights later.

"It's still 35 points to make the playoffs," Kovalev said. "That's the way I look at it, so we have to keep working."

Chris Kelly, Jason Spezza and Antoine Vermette scored for Ottawa, which has lost three in a row.

Ottawa, which hadn't lost to Montreal in over a year, has lost eight of 11 since All-Star right wing Dany Heatley separated a shoulder in a 3-2 win over league-leading Detroit on Jan. 12.

"They're definitely playing well right now," Spezza said. "They're coming hard, we're not playing our best, but we feel when we get everybody back in the lineup and we get the guys we have in the lineup playing with the confidence we had at the beginning of the year that we can be the elite team we were last year and at the start of this year, and we still feel we've got a really good hockey club."

Martin Gerber stopped 22 shots, including a big stop on Kovalev's chance from the slot with just over 4 minutes remaining that kept the Senators' hopes of a comeback alive after they scored twice earlier in the third to draw within one.

Senators coach John Paddock used his timeout with 27 seconds remaining after Huet stopped Kelly, who shot from the right side on a cross-ice pass from Spezza.

"I felt we battled hard, especially in the third," Kelly said. "We were pretty persistent and it would have been nice to capitalize there. That was a great pass by Jason and you've got to give him credit. He made some nice saves."

After Kelly opened the scoring with his ninth goal 2:42 in, Kostitsyn drew Montreal even at 1 with a power-play goal at 12:11 when he got behind defenseman Andrej Meszaros to redirect Plekanec's pass across the goalmouth off the left post and into the net for his 16th goal.

Plekanec put Montreal ahead 2-1 with his 18th goal as he finished off a dazzling passing play with Kostitsyn and Kovalev.

"It looked fancy, maybe, but it wasn't that hard," Plekanec said. "It was just a simple play. We had two guys driving to the net and two passes and I had an empty net."

Kostitsyn drew his second straight assist on Streit's ninth goal 8:14 into the second as the Canadiens took a 3-1 lead right after Ottawa blew a chance to tie it on a three-on-two.

Senators center Mike Fisher couldn't handle Chris Neil's hard return pass to the right side and Montreal took advantage of Ottawa's near miss when Streit drove a slap shot from the left side past Gerber.

Kovalev got his third assist 10 minutes into the second on Plekanec's second goal. Streit also assisted as Plekanec banged a puck past Gerber at the right post for his 19th goal, Montreal's second power-play effort.

"Kovalev's playing some of the best hockey he's played," Spezza said. "He's controlling the puck and you've got to take away his time, and you've got to tip your hat. They scored some good goals tonight."

Spezza had a goal and an assist early in the third as Ottawa scored twice in 5:04 to draw within one with 12:14 remaining.

Spezza scored his 20th goal 2:42 in to make it 4-2 before he drew an assist as Vermette deflected Joe Corvo's point shot for a power-play goal at 7:46.

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Toskala

VS

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Huet

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Team Leaders for the Habs

Points - Kovalev - 52

Goals - Kovalev - 24

Assists - Plekanec - 31

PIM - Kostopoulos - 89

+/- - Kovalev - 13

PP Goals - Kovalev - 14

SH Goals - Plekanec - 2

Team Leaders for the Leafs

Points - Sundin - 56

Goals - Sundin - 22

Assists - Sundin - 34

PIM - Antropov - 76

+/- - Sundin - 10

PP Goals - Antropov - 9

SH Goals - Stajan - 1

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Guest CanadianMike

I think the Habs logo should be after the leafs one since it is in Montreal. Great job though (like always). Do you have any good pics of the Pleks line (where you can see all 3) for me?

BIG game for the Habs. The leafs will (try) to come out strong after they laid that great big goose egg last night vs Panthers (hat trick & 1 assist for ZEDNIK in case you didn't know :P)

GO HABS GO!!!

Are Ponik. & Antropov still out for the leafs?

wish I was going to the game.

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I think the Habs logo should be after the leafs one since it is in Montreal. Great job though (like always). Do you have any good pics of the Pleks line (where you can see all 3) for me?

BIG game for the Habs. The leafs will (try) to come out strong after they laid that great big goose egg last night vs Panthers (hat trick & 1 assist for ZEDNIK in case you didn't know :P)

GO HABS GO!!!

Are Ponik. & Antropov still out for the leafs?

wish I was going to the game.

Antropov is out until Saturday i think

my question is McCabe playing? Must be since Wozniewski was put on Waivers

Oh and Carey Price is starting too!!!!

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Guest hatethoseleafs
Price in nets YEAHHH

Yup....

The Latest from on the Canadiens.....

Carey Price will start in goal on Thursday when the Canadiens host the Toronto Maple Leafs. Price is 3-0 against Toronto this season. While Guy Carbonneau did not tip his hand to the line combinations, Saku Koivu practiced with Guillaume Latendresse and Sergei Kostitsyn, while Michael Ryder was plugged in with the line of Steve Begin, Bryan Smolinski and Tom Kostopoulos. Chris Higgins played with Maxim Lapierre and Mathieu Dandenault. - TSN

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Guest TORHABSFAN

This is one of only 2 games vs. the Leafs that I will not be in attadance for.. The other was the last game where we won 4-1.. Wish I was going to see Carey Price make his return to the Habs with a Huge win vs. the Leafs..

Prediction

Habs 5 Leafs 3.

3 STAR PREDICTION

1. Andrei Kostitsyn

2. Thomas Kabarle

3. Saku Koivu

GO HABS GO!!! BEAT THE LEAFS!

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Guest FlHabsFan
Yup....

The Latest from on the Canadiens.....

Carey Price will start in goal on Thursday when the Canadiens host the Toronto Maple Leafs. Price is 3-0 against Toronto this season. While Guy Carbonneau did not tip his hand to the line combinations, Saku Koivu practiced with Guillaume Latendresse and Sergei Kostitsyn, while Michael Ryder was plugged in with the line of Steve Begin, Bryan Smolinski and Tom Kostopoulos. Chris Higgins played with Maxim Lapierre and Mathieu Dandenault. - TSN

I like those lines. Lats works well with Koivu. As did Sergei. Not sure on Dande with Laps & Chris, but its not horrible.

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Guest habsfan321

Score Predictions (4 Possibilities):

1) 40-0 WIN: If the Leafs are 14th and the Panthers are 12th, and the Panthers beat the Leafs 8-0, then for every spot your ahead, you score 4 goals. Being that we're 10 spots ahead, logically, we will win 40-0

2) 9-0: Kovalev, Kostityn, Plekanec each finish the game with 3 goals, 6 assists, plus/minus +9

3) We win by default: The Leafs are either too embarrassed to show up after their last game OR their new GM decides to rebuild and trades them all away for 7th round picks.

4) 8-7 WIN: We're up 7-0 after 2 periods but we have another 3rd period meltdown (AGAIN... (Rangers, Sens (at least we won that 1)) but we end up winning in the shootout.

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Guest King-Carey-31

THIS IS OUR BIG SHOT! With a win tonight we hit 30 on the season and that puts us on pace for 44 or 45. That is huge. We need to keep up this pace and we can definitely win at least the first round GO HABS GO! GO PRICE GO!

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Guest RockMtl
Score Predictions (4 Possibilities):

1) 40-0 WIN: If the Leafs are 14th and the Panthers are 12th, and the Panthers beat the Leafs 8-0, then for every spot your ahead, you score 4 goals. Being that we're 10 spots ahead, logically, we will win 40-0

2) 9-0: Kovalev, Kostityn, Plekanec each finish the game with 3 goals, 6 assists, plus/minus +9

3) We win by default: The Leafs are either too embarrassed to show up after their last game OR their new GM decides to rebuild and trades them all away for 7th round picks.

4) 8-7 WIN: We're up 7-0 after 2 periods but we have another 3rd period meltdown (AGAIN... (Rangers, Sens (at least we won that 1)) but we end up winning in the shootout.

Hahahahahahaha!! Enjoyable

PS: that's some good stuff you're on !! (j/k)

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Guest habsfan321
Hahahahahahaha!! Enjoyable

PS: that's some good stuff you're on !! (j/k)

It's a mix actually... 50% bordom, 25% creativity, and 25% "Habs fan" bias

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I think the Habs logo should be after the leafs one since it is in Montreal. Great job though (like always). Do you have any good pics of the Pleks line (where you can see all 3) for me?

BIG game for the Habs. The leafs will (try) to come out strong after they laid that great big goose egg last night vs Panthers (hat trick & 1 assist for ZEDNIK in case you didn't know :P )

GO HABS GO!!!

Are Ponik. & Antropov still out for the leafs?

wish I was going to the game.

That only applies if the "@" symbol is used, but in this case it says "vs", so we're good. :D

Oh, and I am going to this game. It'll be my first Habs home game, so I'm pretty stoked. Leaving tomorrow morning after a night shift at the office. :D

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Yup....

The Latest from on the Canadiens.....

Carey Price will start in goal on Thursday when the Canadiens host the Toronto Maple Leafs. Price is 3-0 against Toronto this season. While Guy Carbonneau did not tip his hand to the line combinations, Saku Koivu practiced with Guillaume Latendresse and Sergei Kostitsyn, while Michael Ryder was plugged in with the line of Steve Begin, Bryan Smolinski and Tom Kostopoulos. Chris Higgins played with Maxim Lapierre and Mathieu Dandenault. - TSN

I dig those lines. In fact a couple of us were calling for that in another thread last night. Carbo must be readin the boards. See if maybe some size up front (Lats) will get the Saku line going. He should be pretty fired up for this one, so I expect a big game from him and he's shown flashes with both youngsters. Plus I like that Lats will go to then net. Should be good.

Strange that tsn and rds are reporting Price in, but its not on Habs Inside/Out yet. Either way, here's a couple links...

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=ht...en&ie=UTF-8

http://tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?fid=10460&hubname=

My thoughts: I hope Ryder is in. If I'm not mistaken, he usually has good games vs the leafs.

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WOOOO Go habs Go

Anyone else see stajan cry last night? Imagine that was ONLY an 8-0 loss, what's gonna happen when we beat the laffs 40-0? The whole team will cry I'd think, lead by Tucker of course XD

Go HABS Go!

(I'm thinking with the way leafs are sucking these days, wonder if it would be possible to buy some cheap tickets off of some fans hmmm...)

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Guest HabsFanStuckInToronto!

PRICE IN NETS! I can't wait to see him make his return and do it in winning fashion no less. Price is our "Leaf Killer" and if the last 3 games are any indication, we are going to have a great chance to win.

No reason to lose this game because of Montreal's play but big rivals, you just never know what will happen. (Edmonton beat Calgary 5-0 even though Calgary was on the hot streak).

But that won't happen to us. HABS WILL COMPETE HARD! GO HABS GO!

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Guest HabsFan4Lyfe

I guess it's the end of Ryder...Carbo's not using him for the third straight night and that probably spells the end of him. Anywho...imma going to the game in section 329....anyone know how that section is? first time attending a game vs the makebelieves!

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I guess it's the end of Ryder...Carbo's not using him for the third straight night and that probably spells the end of him. Anywho...imma going to the game in section 329....anyone know how that section is? first time attending a game vs the makebelieves!

It's 2/3 of the way up, slightly on the right of the Leafs goal. You'll have a great view of the Habs lighting it up in the 1st and the 3rd ;)

I'll be there too, 1st row, defensive zone on Markov's side :D

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