Canadiens-Kings: Early Period Goals the Difference in the Habs’ Win

Montreal 4, Los Angeles 2 (Staples Center)

posted by Rocket
All Habs

Sometimes your opponent pitches a dud.

It hasn't happened very often this season in games involving the Canadiens, but tonight the Kings were a shadow of the team they have been so far this season.

Kings fans, who hadn't seen their team in person for three weeks, were expecting a better effort for the homecoming. Canadiens' fans who showed up in red at the Staples Center were happy to celebrate loudly throughout the game.

"The Montreal Canadiens are a very desperate hockey club," Murray said. "They're on the bubble, so you've got to recognize that and know that the intensity is going to be high. They showed it in the first shift, and we weren't ready to match it."

Full marks to the Habs, who showed intensity with a strong start by attacking the L.A. net, resulting in their first goal only 22 seconds into the game. The line of Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez, and Benoit Pouliot gave the Canadiens an early lead.

"Anytime you can jump on a team like that early in the game like that, those things kind of set the tone," Gionta said.

But the goal that really seemed to deflate the Kings was a short-handed marker by Dominic Moore five minutes into the second period. It was a weak goal given up by L.A. netminder, Jonathan Quick. The Kings only managed five shots on goal in the second frame despite having three power-play advantages.

The Gomez trio was also responsible for a goal in the first minute of the third period, giving their team a two-goal lead. The Kings were unable to manage a shot on goal for a ten minute stretch in the period.

The Canadiens penalty-killers were perfect on four Kings' opportunities in the game. The Habs had several scoring chances while short-handed, in addition to Moore's goal.

Los Angeles forwards dominated the faceoff dot, with Jarett Stoll and Michal Handzus combi...

About the Author