The Montreal Canadiens continued their recent hot streak, as they held off the Detroit Red Wings and came away with a 5-3 victory last night.
Montreal has now won back to back games, and ten of their last twelve games to propel them to 97 points in the standings, a playoff berth, and a fighting chance for home ice advantage in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Canadiens opened the scoring when Michael Bournival banged in a rebound for his first goal in 38 games. That is not a typo, Bournival had not found the back of the opponent’s net since November 13th when he scored on the New York Islanders.
Max Pacioretty continued his torrid streak of late when he blew passed the Red Wings defense and beat Jonas Gustavsson with a laser shot on a breakaway to make the score 2-0 Habs. Since being placed on a line with Thomas Vanek, Pacioretty now had 18 points in 13 games.
The Canadiens offensive outburst was impressive, but they were unable to hold onto it, allowing the Wings to erase the three goal deficit in less than seven minute stretch of play in the third period.
The Habs allowed a pair of power play goals to the Wings, and Luke Glendenning scored the first goal of his NHL career to tie the game at three with less than ten minutes to play.
Gionta would rescue the Canadiens from allowing a total collapse by stopping the Red Wings run and beating Gustavsson with a snap shot off the rush, and a little help from Wings defender Brian Lashoff who the puck glanced off on the way into the net. It was the first multi-goal game of the season for the Habs captain.
Alex Galchenyuk would wrap up the scoring with a disputed goal in the final minutes. Galchenyuk drove to the blue paint and a Tomas Plekanec wrister bounced off his arm and found the back of the net, just as Galchenyuk’s skates made contact with the Wings goaltender.
The officials gathered and reviewed the play but it would ultimately stand, giving the Canadiens a 5-3 lead. It was also a slump buster for the Canadiens super sophomore, finally finding the back of the net after 13 scoreless games.
The Canadiens would hang on to this lead, with Carey Price stopping 34 of 37 shots he faced. The Habs now enter the final week of the regular season with three games remaining and 97 points in the standings. The lowest they can possibly finish would be third in the Atlantic Division, and they will now battle to hold off the Tampa Bay Lightning for home ice in their inevitable first round matchup.
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