Montreal Canadiens: Too Little, Too Late

Francois GendronSenior Writer IJanuary 21, 2009

The Montreal Canadiens waited too long to start playing at an acceptable level and were defeated by the Atlanta Thrashers.

Early on, the Canadiens needed a solid performance from goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who was chosen to start the game for the ninth game in a row. The Canadiens were dominated by the 29th ranked team during the first frame.

First, Erik Christensen, with a shot that Halak misplayed, opened the score for Atlanta. Then Chris Thorburn doubled Atlanta's lead. Rich Peverly scored a third goal for Atlanta during the second period and forced Montreal's head coach Guy Carbonneau to pull Halak out of the game.

The Canadiens played better after the goalie change, but it was too little too late.

Max Pacioretty scored the third goal of his NHL career on a man-advantage and Steven Begin reduced Atlanta's lead to a single goal with his sixth of the season.

Begin's goal was a little controversial as he looked to have intentionally redirected the puck in the goal defended by Kari Lehtonen with one of his skates. But after a video review, the referee decided to allow the goal.

Zach Bogosian scored the insurance goal on Carey Price for the final score of 4-2.

Montreal plays the New Jersey Devils tonight.