Bringing a 3-1 win with them back across the border, the Canadiens couldn’t pinpoint just one thing that made the biggest difference in Thursday’s match-up against the Bruins. With a perfect-penalty kill, a productive power play and a slew of ice time to go around, there were plenty of highlights to choose from after the game. While Carey Price got the nod as the night’s first-star for the second-straight game, he wanted no part of basking in the spotlight all alone.
“The guys are playing well – it’s not me,” said the 23-year-old netminder following his ninth win of the campaign. “That was a perfect team game. It’s the guys who are playing well right now; I’m just a small part of it. Something I’ve been working on is to get that positioning at the top of the crease and fighting for my space. The guys in front of me are doing the exact same thing, trying to get early positioning. Once you have that, everything else slows down.”
|Check out the highlights of the Habs-Bruins tilt|
“Special teams are always important and when they come to play, they can win you games,” explained Brian Gionta, who notched the game-winner on the power play early in the third period. “Tonight, our power play and PK did the job.”
Two of the Habs’ three goals may have come on the power play, but for the captain, solving the league’s top penalty kill twice in one night was just icing on the cake.
“I don’t think it was a statement to them as much as it was to us. We want to be consistent and play the way we need to regardless of the opponent,” underlined Gionta, who also saw his team go a perfect four-for-four on the PK. “It’s more about trying to stay on top of our game. Regardless of who’s out there, we want to play a certain way and a certain style and we need everyone to do it.”
He’s not kidding. For the first time this season, every player in the lineup reached double-digits in ice time against the Bruins and all but two registered at least a shot in the contest.
“With the number of games we play in this league, you have to be able to win with all four lines contributing and playing those minutes,” explained the Habs’ bench boss. “With the parity in the league, every game is big. Two points in November are just as important as two points in March or April. We need to do that every night.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
Canadiens 3, Bruins 1
The Numbers Game - Nov. 11, 2010
Habs, Bruins ready to renew rivalry