Never Underestimate the Bleu Blanc Rouge!

Miah D.Senior Writer IFebruary 19, 2008

The Montreal Canadiens were hosting the NY Rangers at the Bell Center Tuesday night. After three consecutives wins, plus the third star of last week, Carey Price was back in the net. Henrik Lundqvist, now the highest paid goalie of the league ($6.875 million/year) , was the Rangers' man, after winning two consecutive games with allowing only one goal.
Jaromir Jagr decided to show some action to Price. In less than one minute, he assisted Brandon Dubinsky and Sean Avery respectively, to make it 2-0 for the blue shirts. Then, with Montreal Alexei Kovalev in the box for high sticking, he assisted Brendan Shanahan on his 19th of the year.

And that was it for Price, who allowed three goals on 11 shots in the first eight minutes of the game.

Cristobal Huet did not change anything of the Rangers powerplay. Montreal Chris Higgins was sent in the box for high sticking, for four long minutes. Brendan Shanahan got his second of the night, assisted by Jagr. Less than one minute after, Chris Drury scored his 20th of the year.

The Habs were then down 5-0. Desperation? Hang on!

We have got to agree on this: the Montreal Canadiens is a team full of surprises.

Frankly, who would have believed that they are currently fighting for the lead in the Eastern Conference, when the "experts" predicted a 14th spot? Okay, we are not at the end of the season yet, and people's memories of a season is rarely the team who had the lead on February 19th! But still...

Getting back to the game: tonight's surprise is named Michael Ryder. 

As the team was down by five goals (yup, five!), Ryder got the fans back on track midway in the second, assisted by Mark Streit. He did it again four minutes later still from a pass by Mark Streit, and "sacochegate" Ryan O'Byrne. :-D

It seems Ryder gave wings to his teammates, as Alexei Kovalev brought the game to 5-3 in the third. Then Mark Streit deflicted a shot from Ryder, which reduced the gap to one goal. With 4:22 minutes to go in the last period, Kovalev got his second; helped by Captain Saku Koivu.

And the crowd was standing, ovationing their Tricolore, with Alexei Kovalev laying on his back all skates in the air! After a 0-5, which may have pushed those at home to switch on American Idol, the game was tied.

In OT, Henrik Ludqvist stopped both Andrei Markov and Sergei Kostitsyn among others to keep his team in the game. 

In the shootouts, Cristobal Huet was perfect, stopping all Rangers Brendan Shanahan, Chris Drury and Jaromir Jagr; while Saku Koivu scored the game wining goal against Henrik Lundqvist.                                       

It was actually the first time in the Habs history that they came from a five goals gap to win it 6-5.

Apart from the players, the crowd was amazing.

As Mike Komisarek was sent back in the box in the second period, 24 seconds after he got out of it (he actually got eleven minutes of penalty tonight), the Bell Center started to boo the referees, throwing the advertising banners on the ice. On Michael Ryder's third point as well, the fans threw their hats. Even Carey Price did so!

Talking about Komisarek, it seems the last meeting between both team had left souvenirs among the Rangers. On the Daily News, rookie Brandon Dubinsky, put on Jagr's lineup, declared: "I'm definitely going to be physical on him - I'm not going to let him off the hook ever" about Komisarek. Indeed, the defenseman hardened Jagr's work with a few hits last time, which was not really appreciated by the other side.

Alexei Kovalev has now 61 points in 61 games, which is 14 more than last season.

Montreal is tied with the Ottawa Senators, who also registered a shootout win tonight, against the Philadelphia Flyers.

They will face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, in Montreal.

This post's three stars: Michael Ryder, Alexei Kovalev, Jaromir Jagr 


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