Forever_Habs10 Posted April 4, 2011 Report Share Posted April 4, 2011 Habs edge closer to playoff berth with Hurricanes loss The Canadiens moved one tiny step closer to clinching a playoff berth without leaving their couches Sunday. Montreal received some help when the Buffalo Sabres edged the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in overtime. While the ninth-place Hurricanes picked up a point for the overtime loss, they are four points behind the sixth-place Canadiens with each team having three games to play. The only way the Hurricanes can finish ahead of the Canadiens is if they win their three remaining games and the Canadiens lose their three final games. If the season ended on Monday, the Canadiens would open the playoffs in Boston, but all of the first-round pairings can change over the final week of the regular season. The Canadiens have 91 points and are one point ahead of Buffalo and two up on the New York Rangers with everyone having three games to play. There is also some jockeying for position at the top of the standings. Philadelphia and Washington each have 103 points, while Boston has 99 points and is assured of one of the top three seeds as the Northeast Division champion. Pittsburgh is fourth with 100 points and has an outside chance of passing Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens helped their own cause Saturday when they beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1. The Garden State has never been the Canadiens' favourite destination, but the win Saturday gave Montreal a split of the four-game season series against the Devils and both wins came in Newark. With a large contingent of Montreal fans cheering them on, the Canadiens played head coach Jacques Martin's kind of hockey. They limited the Devils to three shots in the first period and 21 for the game. They stayed out of the penalty box and showed the value of going hard to the net as journeyman Mathieu Darche scored two goals by redirecting passes from Brian Gionta past the Canadiens' longtime nemesis, Martin Brodeur. Montreal also went 1-for-2 on the power play with P.K. Subban scoring his 13th goal of the season. The Canadiens received some good news earlier Saturday when injured defenceman Jaroslav Spacek participated in the morning skate and experienced his first contact since he underwent arthroscopic surgery a month ago. Spacek said his recovery is on schedule and he hopes to see action before the playoffs, but he said it was unlikely that he would dress Tuesday night when the Canadiens close out their home schedule with a game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Unsung hero...The Canadiens took a moment to sing the praises of their team's unsung hero of 2010-11. In a year that already saw him play his 1300th NHL career game, notch his 600th career point and score his 150th career goal, Roman Hamrlik discovered Monday morning that he can now also add 'Jacques Beauchamp-Molson Trophy Winner' to his list of accomplishments this season. Also announced today...Carey Price named Molson Cup Player of the year ...hats off to pricey boy! The Habs will start their week off by hosting the only team in the NHL they have yet to meet in 2010-11 when the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks roll through town. On the surface it would seem that some intensity could be lacking in a game between two clubs that rarely ever meet, but the reality is that the Blackhawks are fighting for their lives, clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, while the Habs can clinch a run at the cup with a win Tuesday night. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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