Habs Goalie: Budaj (L)
Opposition Goalie: Hiller (W)
Habs goalscorers: Kostitsyn
Opposition goalscorers: Getzlaf, Smith-Pelly, Perry, Hagman
Gionta made a great play just outside of Anaheim's zone to steal the puck and then made an equally great play by getting that puck to Pleks. Tomas went outside on his man and then spun to find Kostitsyn in the slot, streaking in. Andrei made no mistake and put the puck in with a goalscorer's authority and propelled the Habs to an early lead.
He scored the goal that we so desperately needed at the start of the game. He was alright for the rest of the game, but has to be better. 1 goal on an off night, however, is still better than 0 goals on an off night from the other forwards.
Brian started the first goal and seemed to be back to his dangerous self. There were glimpses of that throughout, but he never sustained too much pressure at one time. Maybe he needs Gomez more than Gomez needs him? Who knows, I just know the Habs need scoring from the captain. .
There were a few times where the Habs actually looked to be getting organized in the offensive zone. It was during those times that more often than not I saw Eller in the right spot. He'll never do too much himself, but with a couple of decent wingers, as we have seen, he has the creativity and skills to keep up.
Hal Gill - Game Puck
I didn't like his play on the first goal against, but after that he turned in a great defensive performance. In all there were 11 blocked-shot and 7+ minutes of PK time.
Subban, Diaz and St. Denis all had brutal games. That leaves Josh or Emelin. The fact that I didn't notice either too much means I'll side with Josh here. His work on the PP was no worse than anyone else's but he clearly demonstrated, as many others (not named Markov) have, that he is not the answer to our PP woes.
Peter let in 3 goals on 26 shots which isn't fabulous. He also had some dangerous moments that didn't end with the puck in the back of the net. He did, however, make some very good saves throughout and did manage to keep one of the most uninspired Habs teams that I seen this year in it for 2+ periods.
There was no flow to tonight's game and for that we can thank the refs. It all started when we were getting PP after PP in the first. This ends up being bad for the Habs for 3 separate reasons. The first reason is that we are horrible with extra man and are actually more likely to get scored on than to score a goal of our own. The second reason is that it takes away from our 5-on-5 ice-time, which is really the time that we want until Markov is back. The third reason is that it means penalties are coming against us no matter what we do (and they did and it didn't). Scoring on the PP would have been the answer, but when going 0/7 isn't that unreasonable considering our current rate it is not surprising at all.
We have two games to go in California against better teams. Anaheim was the 'easy game' the one where it seemed OK to start Budaj. Well, we just lost to a vulnerable, almost league-worst, team. The next two games will be so much harder which means we have to start playing well. There won't be any lucky wins this week, they will have to be earned. I have seen this team do crazier things though, so I still have hope. I am not sure why Markov didn't play today and if he is even as close to a return as we all think, but he is the one player that can right this ship. We need him back ASAP and need him more now than we have needed him since last year's playoffs.