Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Habs Hold On To Edge Sabres 3-2

The Montreal Canadiens held off a third period surge and hung on for a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres in pre-season action from Roberval, Quebec (Hockeyville 2008).

The on-hand crowd: 1,237 - or roughly 10% of the entire village's population.

P.S. According to their last census information, 0.31 % of the entire village listed ENGLISH as their mother tongue...and would you like to know how many people that is exactly?



Tomas Plekanec continued his hot play from last night, adding a couple more goals to push his overall total to three and total points to four in just two games. Plekanec opened the scoring at 10:25 of the first, surprising Lalime by banking a shot in off of him from below the goal line.

Andrei Kostitsyn then scored a shorthanded goal, taking the puck off a result of strong forechecking and hard work by David Desharnais and going five-hole on Lalime on a partial breakaway. Desharnais, a local favorite in Roberval thanks to his days with the Sagueneens of Chicoutimi, picked up an assist.

Plekanec added his second of the night shorthanded as well. Some nifty stickwork and sublime patience allowed Plekanec to outwait the defenseman, who fell to the ice in a blocking effort, but continued sliding, eventually clearing a perfectg view on goal for Plekanec. A pinpoint shot was then released by Plaky, going low short-side to beat the Sabres netminder and extend the Habs lead to 3-0.

Buffalo tried mounting a comeback in the third.

First, Derek Roy stickhandled in on goal and with a quick, fancy and accurate move, Roy went to his backhand just above the crease and fooled Marc Denis.

Shortly after, Natahn Gerbe collected a loose puck in the neutral zone, skated hard to the left wing, broke the zone and uncorked an absolute cracker over Denis' far shoulder, nailing the top corner with perfect accuracy. For a small forward, it was a hefty slapper.

Denis and the Habs would hold off for the rest of the period, thus sealing the win for Montreal...but not before a bizarre final play.

With 7 seconds remaining, a whistle was blown for a penalty call against Montreal and a faceoff was slated to occur to Denis' right. The Sabres, centered by Derek Roy, took longer than the allowed limit of time to reach the faceoff dot, and the linesman proceeded to drop the puck. Lapierre, who was the only player in the faceoff circle, collected the puck, passed it off to a teammate on the far side, and the Habs cleared the zone and ran the clock.

The rule has been in existence since last year, but it was rarely - if ever - enforced. Look for this to happen again and again and again this year in the NHL.

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