After blowing a two goal lead and then going down by one, the Habs came back to squeak by the Winnipeg Jets 4 – 3 in a highly entertaining game of shifting momentums.
The Canadiens started the scoring midway through the first period as Rene Bourque scored his first goal of the season. This can’t be the same Rene Bourque who played for the Habs last year? That Rene Bourque couldn’t skate, couldn’t shoot and spent most of the time in a daze looking like he just wanted to get back to the bench. This Rene Bourque is skating hard, competing for the puck, and shooting, maybe not accurately, but shooting and was rewarded tonight. Bourque took a pass from Andrei Markov and one-timed a rocket past Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec. Brendan Gallagher put the Habs up 2 -0 with a great wrist shot. Using the Jets defenseman as a screen, Gallagher came over the blue line and fired a laser shot high over Pavelec’s shoulder. Along with Alex Galchenyuk, with another two assist game, the two kids are validating Therrien’s decision to keep the two with the team.
Winnipeg’s Chris Thorburn tried to jump start the Jets by getting into a tussle with the Habs Travis Moen. It seemed to work because after the scrap the Jets woke up and went on to score three unanswered goals to go ahead 3 – 2. Eric Cole, with his first of the year, tied the game up towards the end of the second period.
Tomas Plekanec put the Habs up to stay at the five-minute mark of the third, although it was nail-biting time after that one. The Habs then put on a gritty performance as they had to battle the Jets, and the refs. Brandon Prust, following the puck towards the net, bumped into Pavelec, who was way outside the blue paint. That was a two-minute penalty to Prust for goaltender interference. After the penalty, on Prust’s next shift,Winnipeg’s Nik Antropov, all 6’ 6” of him, took exception to Prust hitting his goalie. Antropov drove Prust from the back into the boards in front of the Habs bench. Prust went down immediately, obviously winded from the hit, after being doubled over. David Desharnais, all 5’6” of him, went immediately to Prust’s defense, challenging theWinnipeggiant, but to no avail, luckily for Desharnais. Antropov got a two-minute penalty for boarding but in another bizarre call by the refs, Prust was given a two-minute penalty for diving plus they gave Desharnais two for roughing. The Habs hung on from that point on, Carey Price having to come up with some big stops to secure the win.
Carey Price was definitely not sharp tonight, going down to quickly, mishandling the puck and always seemed to be looking behind him, not confident. With the Habs playing back-to-back games in two nights, it certainly looks like Peter Budaj will get the start against the Sens, giving Carey Price a night off.
The Habs put their four game winning streak on the line against the Senators Wednesday night in Ottawa.