NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Montreal
(Saturday, November 18th)
Final Score: Montreal 3, Atlanta 1
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Cristobal Huet stopped 39 shots as the Montreal Canadiens celebrated Serge Savard's big night with a 3-1 victory over the struggling Atlanta Thrashers at the Bell Centre.
Before the game, the Canadiens held a ceremony honoring Hall of Fame blueliner Serge Savard. After a lengthy ceremony, No. 18 was hauled up to the rafters amidst roaring applause for "The Senator". He is the 11th Hab to have his number retired and will be joined by teammate Ken Dryden on January 29, 2007, when the team retires the legendary goaltender's No. 29 prior to a game against the Senators. Savard won eight Stanley Cup championships in 14 seasons with the Canadiens from 1966-81.
"It was like an important game," said Savard. "I was nervous before the game but when it started I was no longer nervous. It's something you receive or is given to you, it is not something you work for. I really thought about my teammates, star players and players that will never be recognized. The fan reaction was very warm and it touched me. It is a great honor and it is special."
Michael Ryder, Alexander Perezhogin and Radek Bonk scored for the Canadiens, who have won three of their last four tilts.
Glen Metropolit scored the lone goal and Johan Hedberg stopped 30-of-32 shots for the Thrashers, who have dropped their last four games.
It was a free-flowing first period with opportunities at both ends with a total of 30 shots on net, but it was the Canadiens who scored the only goal of the period and took a 1-0 lead into the second.
On the power play, Sheldon Souray blasted a shot from the right point that hit off the traffic in front of the net and went to the stick of Ryder, who smacked a shot into the net with 5:42 left.
Montreal had a golden opportunity to take a 2-0 lead with a bit over two minutes left in the first when Tomas Plekanec got the disc to Mike Johnson all alone at the right side. Johnson one-timed a shot that appeared headed for the back of the net, but Hedberg grabbed it with the glove before it crossed the line. The play was reviewed, but no goal was awarded.
"I didn't talk to Moose (Hedberg)," said Atlanta coach Bob Hartley. "I have no clue what happened there. Huet and Moose put on a great display of goaltending. That is why they are in the NHL."
Neither team was able to get one into the net in the second period with Atlanta having 14 shots and Montreal 11.
The Thrashers finally got on the scoreboard in the third period when Metropolit fired a shot from the slot that beat Huet just 3:30 in.
The Habs, though, retook the lead a little over three minutes later when a Thrasher misplayed the puck at the blueline and Perezhogin took the puck down low and lifted the wobbling disc over the glove of Hedberg for his second goal of the season to make it a 2-1 game.
Bonk added an empty-netter with 1:14 to play to complete the scoring in the game.
Montreal has off until Wednesday when it hosts Minnesota...The Thrashers play in Washington on Wednesday...Atlanta and Montreal split four games last season...Montreal went 1-for-5 on the power play while Atlanta failed in its five opportunities on the power play.
11/18 23:10:47 ET