Hal Gill Celebrates First Goal in 99 Games

Hal Gill’s goal at 5:02 of the first period, his first in ninety-nine games, turned out to be the game winner as Carey Price recorded his seventh shutout and thirtieth win of the season, a 4-0 victory over the Panthers at Sunrise Florida.

The last time Gill scored an NHL goal was December 31st, 2009 again at Florida.

Andrei Kostitsyn, David Desharnais and Lars Eller also scored for the Canadiens. Eller also had an assist and James Wisniewski added two assists.

It was the fourth win in five games for the Canadiens and their third win in four outings this season against Florida. The Canadiens finish up their three game road trip in Tampa Saturday night.

What It Was All About –

…….There are some nights when some of the lesser lights have to step up. This was one of those games. Nothing was heard from the number one and number two lines. A defenseman scored for the first time in almost a hundred games and the third and fourth lines took care of the rest.

…….Forget about the three star selection (Price-Kostitsyn-Wisniewski), the best player on the ice in this game was Lars Eller who centred Andrei Kostitsyn and Travis Moen. Eller reached up and saved a Florida clearing pass and then helped set up the Canadiens second goal of the night which was scored by Kostitsyn. And he batted Travis Moen’s pass out of midair for the fourth goal.

……Jacques Martin moved Eller back to centre ice for the game in Vancouver putting him with Moen and Kostitsyn. In the five games together they have scored five goals, eight assists and are a combined plus 10.

……..Kostitsyn now has a five game point streak with three goals and four assists and is plus 4, after failing to register a point in the nine previous games.

……..If you wondered how a little guy like David Desharnais made it all the way to the NHL, all you need to do is watch the determination he exhibited on his goal. He took a flip pass from Pouliot, wheeled to the backhand and under checking and while falling startled Scott Clemmensen with a shot that rode up his his stick and into the net. All grit.

……..Tomas Plekanec did a lot skating in the game and took a team-high six shots on goal.

……..The Gomez line was an absolute writeoff. At one point in the third period Gomez led a four on one break and handed the puck off to Brian Gionta at absolutely the wrong time. The best Gionta could do was a harmless shot on the short side.

……..James Wisniewski must like playing in Florida. He scored two goals and an assist on New Year’s eve; added two assists in this game.

…….Newcomer Brent Sopel played the game alongside Alexandre Picard. You can be sure he’ll be partnered by Paul Mara Saturday night against Tampa.

…….As for Carey Price. He was presented with a 2-0 first period lead and he’ll be the first to admit that life gets a lot easier after that. There was some excellent stuff in there however including a save on Stephen Weiss on a breakaway late in the second period. On a Florida power play with seconds remaining in the second period he stopped David Booth and then fell back on a loose puck in the crease and in a twelve second span midway through the third he stopped Samsonov, Repik, Kulikov and Samsonov again, all from the top of the crease.

……Canadiens killed off all three penalties. They’ve now killed 15 in row.

…..In the end, don’t read much into this one. Florida was a bad hockey team before. After Monday’s first sale, they’re closer to the American Hockey League calibre than a playoff berth.

The Goalscorers – Gill (1st) (Kostitsyn-Wisniewski); Kostitsyn (16th) (Moen-Eller); Desharnais (7th) (Pouliot); Eller (5th) (Moen-Wisniewski).

Shots on Goal – Canadiens 6-15-20 = 31 Florida 8-12-10 = 30.

The Three Stars – First – Carey Price (shutout – 30 saves) Second – Andrei Kostitsyn (1g 1ass plus 3) Third – James Wisniewski (2 assists – plus-2)

The Fenwick/Corsi Numbers

Game Number Team Player Goals Saved shots Missed Shots Fenwick+/- Blocked Shots Corsi+/-
20963 MTL 11 – C – GOMEZ, SCOTT 1 0 7 11 4 7 -6 3 2 -5
20963 MTL 13 – L – CAMMALLERI, MICHAEL 0 0 7 8 2 2 -1 4 2 1
20963 MTL 14 – C – PLEKANEC, TOMAS 0 0 8 7 2 2 1 4 2 3
20963 MTL 15 – C – HALPERN, JEFF 0 0 7 8 2 2 -1 3 2 0
20963 MTL 20 – D – WISNIEWSKI, JAMES 2 0 13 9 5 6 5 6 6 5
20963 MTL 21 – R – GIONTA, BRIAN 0 0 6 9 3 7 -7 2 2 -7
20963 MTL 31 – G – PRICE, CAREY 4 0 22 24 11 15 -2 15 10 3
20963 MTL 32 – L – MOEN, TRAVIS 2 0 6 4 3 4 3 6 4 5
20963 MTL 44 – D – HAMRLIK, ROMAN 1 0 14 7 3 6 5 6 6 5
20963 MTL 45 – D – PICARD, ALEXANDRE 0 0 3 11 3 3 -8 4 1 -5
20963 MTL 46 – L – KOSTITSYN, ANDREI 3 0 5 5 5 5 3 4 5 2
20963 MTL 55 – D – SOPEL, BRENT 1 0 3 9 1 4 -8 5 2 -5
20963 MTL 57 – L – POULIOT, BENOIT 1 0 3 2 1 2 1 4 2 3
20963 MTL 58 – C – DESHARNAIS, DAVID 1 0 2 2 2 2 1 3 2 2
20963 MTL 67 – L – PACIORETTY, MAX 1 0 6 10 5 6 -4 4 1 -1
20963 MTL 75 – D – GILL, HAL 3 0 5 6 5 6 1 5 3 3
20963 MTL 76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K. 1 0 6 6 5 5 1 4 2 3
20963 MTL 81 – C – ELLER, LARS 2 0 6 4 3 4 3 5 4 4
20963 MTL 94 – C – PYATT, TOM 1 0 3 2 1 2 1 3 2 2