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|8 ноября 2007 года.
Missing piece to second-line puzzle found by Habs // Montreal Gazette
BOSTON - Montreal Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau has been waiting for Andrei Kostitsyn to step up and play the way he did last season.
And, after battling with fellow Belarussian Mikhail Grabovski for ice time this season, it appears Kostitsyn is finally making a statement.
The 22-year-old winger was given a chance to play on the No. 2 line with Tomas Plekanec and Alex Kovalev for the first time Monday in Buffalo and assisted on the game-winning goal.
Thursday, Kostitsyn showed that he wants to keep the job as he once again jump-started the Canadiens in what would finish as a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins.
Kostitsyn assisted on both of the Canadiens' goals as the second line seemed to have found the missing piece to the puzzle.
The Canadiens opened the scoring at 17:05 of the first period, when Kostitsyn set up Plekanec for a shot. The puck dribbled through the legs of Boston goaltender Tim Thomas and Kovalev tapped it in for his eighth goal of the season.
The same trio gave Montreal a 2-0 lead at 8:47 of the second period. Kostitsyn again found Plekanec in the open and the Czech made a good move as he deked Thomas out of position and scored his fifth goal of the season.
Carey Price made his fifth start of the season and improved his record to 3-1-1 as he stopped 28 of 29 shots.
The only Bruin to beat the 20-year-old was Marco Sturm, who scored during a goalmouth scramble at 14:12 of the second period.
Price had to come up big in the opening period when he made big saves on Phil Kessell and Petteri Nokelainen.
P. J. Axelsson came close when he hit the far post early in the second while the Canadiens were protecting a 1-0 lead and Price had to make a big stop on Axelsson shortly before Sturm beat him.
It was the second night in a row the Bruins were limited to one goal and Boston coach Claude Julien said the inability to finish was the Bruins' biggest concern.
"We're playing well defensively and we're getting chances, but we're not scoring goals," Julien said.
While there was a first-period fight between Steve Begin and the Bruins' Jeremy Reich, there were few penalties in the game.
But there was one more ugly incident late in the game after the Canadiens killed off a 5-on-3 deficit. Francis Bouillon came out of the penalty box and levelled Aaron Ward. Ward lay on the ice for several minutes, but eventually left under his own steam.
Boston was 0-for-4 with the extra man; Montreal went 0-for-1.
The game was the first of four consecutive games on the road for Montreal and the Canadiens improved their road record to 5-1-1.
The announced attendance for the game was 15,183. That's well below capacity for the TD Banknorth Garden, but above the Bruins' season average of 13,407. Despite a good start to the season, the Bruins' attendance is down 6.3 per cent from last season.
The Canadiens left after last night's game for Ottawa where they will face the Senators tomorrow afternoon.
© Montreal Gazette 2007