When it comes time to play against longtime rivals the Boston Bruins, the Montreal Canadiens seem to find more than enough motivation to come up big.
But not so fast—the Bruins have won their last two games against the Rangers while the Habs have been struggling, scoring just one goal in their last game against the Penguins-sans Crosby machine.
After mixes, changes, and switches generated some skepticism, Montreal head coach Guy Carbonneau had the final word in what was one of the team's best wins so far.
Although Claude Julien tried to get the wind blowing in the other direction by placing goalie Alex Auld in the net, but Auld allowed four goals on seven shots. The fans saw real offensive shows from 13 different players, along with the contribution of all four offensive lines.
Tom Kostopoulos who took care of business after just 14 seconds into the first period. Not too long after, Michael Ryder decided it would be his turn to have some fun and scored his eighth of the year thanks to Captain Koivu and Defensive-Offensive hybrid Mark Streit. And then came goals by Kostitsyn the older and Maxime Lapierre.
But wait, all this in just the first period? Well, the first period was Auld's last of the evening.
While AK46 offered a nice combo of two goals and an assist that got him the third star of the night, Kostopoulos, Steve Begin, Brian Smolinski, Mark Streit, Sergei Kostitsyn, and Mike Komisarek all got themselves a two-point game to help forget Saturday's.
Nothing is perfect, unfortunately. The Habs lost forward Begin midway into the third period to what appears to be another shoulder problem after a clean (depending on whose side you are on) hit by Bruins Shane Hnidy.
No matter, Habs spirit shone brightly and Kostopoulos (again!) did not hesitate to ask for respect after the incident. Though it did get him a game misconduct it also attracted attention as Begin headed to the locker-room.
Apart from his points, it was also a big night for Sergei Kostitsyn who had his first fight against Bruins Kobasew; his teammates watching and admiring, and brother Andrei smiling.
So here we go again, with a 8-2 win over the Boston Bruins and a very nice and proud 6-0 against Claude Julien's crew this season.
At the end of the game, first-star Kostopoulos greeted the fans in a very casual and special outfit: his skates and shorts and jersey, but without the socks. He carried two sticks that he gave to some lucky fans...another nice attention-getting move!