The Canadiens exploded for three goals, two of them on the power play in the span of 2:44 in the first period and then survived a twenty-one shot New York Rangers barrage in the third en route to a 3-2 win at the Bell Centre Saturday night. It was the Canadiens second win over the Rangers in five nights.

Roman Hamrlik and Tomas Plekanec scored back to back power play goals and Andrei Kostitsyn broke a nine game goalscoring slump to give the Canadiens a 3-1 lead. After a scoreless second period, the Rangers made it 3-2 early in the third period on a goal by Mats Zuccarello, but Carey Price shut the door from that point. Newcomer James Wisniewski drew assists on both of the power play goals and now has 2 goals and 7 assists in his seven games with the Canadiens. The Canadiens power play has now scored seven times in their last 23 opportunities. They’ll host the Calgary Flames on Monday night.

Summing It Up – With this version of the Canadiens, a two-goal victory would be considered a “laugher”. The Canadiens have picked up 11 of a possible 14 points over their last seven games. The only game not decided by one goal was the 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

This one turned into a nail-biter as the Canadiens went into that passive hockey they often use when protecting a lead. The Rangers outshot the Canadiens 21-12 in the third period and, although he was not mentioned in the three star selection, Carey Price won the game for them. Things were particularly tense in the final minute and a half when the Rangers pulled their goaltender and then Hal Gill was penalized for hooking with 1:05 remaining. On the 6-on-4 Price stopped Stepan, Girardi and Brian Boyle twice. The last one, on Boyle, came with two seconds remaining.

About the power play. At one point the Canadiens were 2 for 2. They got two more advantages in the second period and with Wisniewski and Subban manning the points, they took nine shots. While he didn’t have a particularly good first period, Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding in the second otherwise the score might have five or six to one going to the final period.

After a week of trade speculation, Andrei Kostitsyn had a good game. Not only with the game winning goal but defensively with Halpern and Moen. In the third period, the unit had more shifts that any other line.

We’ve mentioned Price. A very good game for P.K. Subban, who seems to be thriving with Hal Gill. Wisniewski, the game’s first star, has been a revelation. Over his last 14 games, including his final Islanders games, he has 3 goals and 12 assists. Only Tomas Plekanec has more points on the Canadiens than he has.

Michael Cammalleri came back after missing two games with that strep throat. He took six shots and drew the second assist on the Hamrlik goal.

In the end, a nice bounceback from the bad effort Wednesday against Pittsburgh and they did it against the team with the best road record in the league. Next up, Calgary on Monday night.

The Game Highlights

The Goalscorers – Canadiens – Hamrlik (4th) PPG (Wisniewski-Cammalleri); Plekanec (14th) PPG (Subban-Wisniewski); Kostitsyn (11th) (Halpern). NY Rangers – Boyle (15th) (Prust-Girardi); Zuccarello (2nd) (Stepan-Girardi)

Shots on Goal – NY Rangers – 6-6-21 = 33 Canadiens – 16-13-12 = 41

The Three Stars – First – James Wisniewski (2 assists – 25:01 ice time). Second – Henrik Lundqvist (stopped 38 of 41 shots). Third – Andrei Kostitsyn (game-winning goal)

The Corsi/Fenwick Numbers

The Corsi/Fenwick Numbers

Shots directed at net while a player was on the ice at even strength, excluding empty net situations

Game Number Team Player Number Goals Saved shots Missed Shots Fenwick+/- Blocked Shots Corsi+/-
20662 MTL 6 – D – SPACEK, JAROSLAV 1 2 13 6 1 1 6 5 1 10
20662 MTL 11 – C – GOMEZ, SCOTT 0 0 12 10 1 1 2 5 2 5
20662 MTL 13 – L – CAMMALLERI, MICHAEL 0 1 8 8 4 7 -4 1 4 -7
20662 MTL 14 – C – PLEKANEC, TOMAS 0 1 5 8 3 7 -8 1 5 -12
20662 MTL 15 – C – HALPERN, JEFF 1 1 4 3 2 2 1 3 3 1
20662 MTL 20 – D – WISNIEWSKI, JAMES 0 0 6 17 3 3 -11 2 5 -14
20662 MTL 21 – R – GIONTA, BRIAN 0 0 12 11 1 1 1 5 2 4
20662 MTL 31 – G – PRICE, CAREY 1 2 27 26 7 10 -3 10 13 -6
20662 MTL 32 – L – MOEN, TRAVIS 1 1 4 2 0 1 1 2 3 0
20662 MTL 44 – D – HAMRLIK, ROMAN 0 0 6 18 4 6 -14 1 6 -19
20662 MTL 46 – L – KOSTITSYN, ANDREI 1 1 3 4 1 3 -3 3 3 -3
20662 MTL 52 – L – DARCHE, MATHIEU 0 0 5 5 2 0 2 2 4 0
20662 MTL 57 – L – POULIOT, BENOIT 0 0 7 7 2 1 1 1 4 -2
20662 MTL 58 – C – DESHARNAIS, DAVID 0 0 6 5 1 0 2 1 3 0
20662 MTL 67 – L – PACIORETTY, MAX 0 0 9 9 1 1 0 5 2 3
20662 MTL 68 – D – WEBER, YANNICK 1 2 13 8 1 2 3 5 2 6
20662 MTL 75 – D – GILL, HAL 0 0 8 2 2 5 3 4 7 0
20662 MTL 76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K. 0 0 8 1 3 3 7 3 5 5
20662 MTL 81 – C – ELLER, LARS 0 1 6 6 3 6 -4 1 4 -7