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Title - Hockey is Canadien
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Follow Me on TwitterDean Eastman is the Montreal Canadiens' correspondent for OurHometown.ca Dean was born in Cornwall and raised in Long Sault and has been a loyal Habs fan since the days of the Pocket Rocket and the Roadrunner. He now calls Whitby, Ontario home to his wife Heather and young sons Eric and Ryan. Dean is passionate about his hockey, whether it be from the junior or professional ranks. Dean will provide current news and views on the Montreal Canadiens' organization from a global perspective. If you have questions or wish to contact Dean, you can email him at deastman@ourhometown.ca
Canadiens complete Western Road Swing with win against Kings
Dean Eastman
OurHometown.ca

Hockey is Canadien
Canadiens complete Western Road Swing with win against Kings
The Montreal Canadiens completed a very tough three-game Western road trip on Saturday afternoon against the offensively challenged Los Angeles Kings. Riding the coattails of a spectacular display of goaltending by Carey Price in the first period, the Canadiens managed to beat the Kings with a 2-1 victory.
PHOTO CREDIT - NHL.com

Whitby - December 4, 2011 - The Montreal Canadiens completed a very tough three-game Western road trip on Saturday afternoon against the offensively challenged Los Angeles Kings. Riding the coattails of a spectacular display of goaltending by Carey Price in the first period, the Canadiens managed to beat the Kings with a 2-1 victory.

Price turned aside 14 Los Angeles saves to Montreal’s 5 in the first period. With the win, the Canadiens now sport a season record of 11-11-5 and are currently tied withthe Ottawa Senators for last place in the Northeast Division.

Andrei Kostitsyn was the offensive juggernaut that would lead the Canadiens to only their third win in the past eight games and their first of this three-game road trip.

Andrei Kostitsyn set up the Canadiens’ first goal of the night and eventually scored the game winner on a pretty three-way passing play between himself and linemates Lars Eller and rookie Louie Leblanc. The assist was Leblanc’s first NHL point in his third career professional game.

The Kings were missing some key players in the contest; the most notable being forward Mike Richards who was placed on the injured reserve list with a shoulder injury.

While the first period was lopsided in terms of shots on goal in favour of the Kings, it was the Canadiens who went into the first intermission carrying a 1-0 lead. The Canadiens’ penalty kill unit effectively shutdown L.A.’s special teams in the first period on three different occasions.

Dustin Penner would score the Kings’ only goal in the second period, but that was as close as the home team would come as Price (26 saves, win) was rock solid once again in the third period. L.A.’s Jonathan Bernier took the loss as he made 25 saves in his fifth start of the season.

Game Summary
STATS & PHOTO CREDIT - NHL.com
The announced three stars at the Staples Center in the matinée contest were L.A.’s Dustin Penner (3rd star, one goal), Montreal’s Andrei Kostitsyn (2nd star, two points, game-winning goal) and Carey Price (1st star, .963 save percentage).

Montreal salvages a valuable three points out of a possible six on this three-game road trip and now return home to the Bell Centre to prepare for Rick Nash and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

For a complete statistical review, please click onto the NHL.com Boxscore at the end of this article.

View From The Whitby Cheap Seats

Slashin’ Subban
If I was a Los Angeles King, I would be none too happy with the officiating from Saturday afternoon’s contest. Inconsistent is the best word to describe the Canadiens’ use of stickwork in the game.

Erik Cole received two minutes for slashing the stick of Jack Johnson late in the second period. Fast forward nearly 20 minutes later and moments after a crucial faceoff draw in Montreal’s zone, L.A.’s Jarret Stoll had his own piece of lumber snapped in two by the redwood of P.K. Subban with only a minute left to play in the one-goal contest.

The same play on any other night or period would be called by all on-ice officials. Subban should have been called for slashing just like Cole had earlier in the game. With Subban in the sin bin, the outcome might not have been as favourable for Les Bleu-Blanc-Rouge. Put an asterisk beside Saturday’s Canadiens’ win because the team owes the officiating crew huge.

Leblanc Leaving?
So, rookie Louis Leblanc has completed his three-game audition with the Montreal Canadiens. Leblanc finishes his audition with one assist and two shots on goal in three games with the Canadiens.

Power forward Max Pacioretty returns on Tuesday night after completing his three-game suspension from an illegal head hit on Pittsburgh Penguins’ defenseman Kris Letang last Saturday. It is worth noting that Aaron Palushaj was a healthy scratch on Saturday afternoon. If I were Coach Jacques Martin, I would send Palushaj back to Hamilton, allow him to play, accumulate points and gain confidence because sitting on the Canadiens’ bench game-in-game-out is helping nobody, especially Palushaj.

Canadiens’ fans got a taste of what Leblanc can offer offensively on Saturday’s game winning goal. Send Palushaj packing and retain Leblanc’s services for a ten-game stint with the big club. Martin can’t go wrong - Leblanc has been successful with every team he has played for.

Until next time, play every game as if it is your last one…


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