Montreal Canadiens-Buffalo Sabres: Lack of Discipline Sinks Montreal

Francois GendronSenior Writer IDecember 15, 2009

The Montreal Canadiens lost their last three games. One of the factors that cost the team in those last three games is the lack of discipline.

Yesterday's 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres came after coming back twice from a one-goal deficit during the third period. The Canadiens' Ryan O'Byrne and Glen Metropolit were both called for penalties in a span of 37 seconds and gave the decisive 5-on-3 advantage to the Sabres. Clarke MacArthur pushed the puck behind goaltender Jaroslav Halak during the double man advantage, sending the Sabres ahead for good.

The Montreal Canadiens cannot afford to have that many penalties and hope to win the majority of their games. The lesson must sink in.

On a brighter side, Andrei Kostitsyn looks to have found his groove during the month of December. With two goals and an assist in a losing cause, he was named the first star of the game yesterday, despite the loss.

Head coach Jacques Martin sent Kostitsyn on the first offensive line with Tomas Plekanec and Mike Cammalleri a couple of games ago and the results are interesting for the team. The chemistry between Kostitsyn and Cammalleri on the ice is refreshing and has yielded a decent offensive output.

The Canadiens are still in eighth place in the Eastern conference while their top defenseman, Andrei Markov, is recovering from his injury and is now skating with the team during practice sessions. Markov could be back in the lineup before the end of the month of December—a lot earlier than initially expected.

Until then, the Canadiens will play the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday and the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

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