Thursday, January 14, 2010

Habs Win 5-3 over Stars with Laraque’s “Miracle” Goal


The rust may have shown, but the Montreal Canadiens pulled out a 5- victory over the Dallas Stars Thursday night.

Montreal’s defense looked sleepy on several occasions and allowed the Stars to have several odd-man rushes, much to the disconcert of coach Jacques Martin.

Capitalizing one of the Canadiens’ defensive lapses, Toby Peterson moved in on a 2-on-1, beating Carey Price five-hole at 8:52 of the first period.

image Brian Gionta, playing in his 500th career NHL game, got the Canadiens on the board with a power play goal four minutes later.

The Stars regained the lead, on their own power play, when Steve Ott tipped in a point shot with just under five minutes left in the period.

At the 2:51 mark of the second period, Laraque earned his first goal with the bleu-blanc-rouge on his first shot on goal of the season.

CJAD’s Murray Wilson, doing his Amazing Kreskin routine, actually called the goal just moments before it happened.


Georges Laraque scores his first goal as a Hab, and his first since March 2008.

Laraque’s goal could not have come at a better moment, on a personal level, as his thoughts had to be with the people of his family’s native Haiti.

It’s hard to think about hockey when the place where your parents came from is totally destroyed,” he said.

Laraque was uncertain whether or not he would play Thursday and has been debating travelling to the devastated nation to help.


“With all that happened in Haiti, it (goal) couldn't happen at a better time. It  was really a miracle.”

Laraque dedicated his goal to the people of Haiti.

Prior to the game, there was a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the Haiti earthquake, and fans brought donations to support UNICEF.

“Tonight was so special. The support from the fans and the team meant a lot to me,” Laraque added. “That’s why it’s the best thing in the world to wear the Montreal Canadiens jersey.”

Fortunately, Laraque as made contact with family members in Haiti and is happy to report that they are safe.

The goal also seemed to get the Canadiens’ momentum going.

Benoit Pouliot matched his career high mark with his seventh goal of the season at 6:44. It was Pouliot’s fifth goal in eight games since being acquired from the Minnesota Wild.

Georges was working hard, and it finally popped through for him,” Pouliot said. “It got the crowd into it and got us going.”

Veteran Mike Modano managed to tie it up for Dallas with 5:05 to play in the second.

The Canadiens took control in the third period, with a second goal from Gionta, set up by Glen Metropolit. It was Metropolit’s 100th career assist.

Mike Cammalleri put in the insurance goal, at 16:41, with his 21st of the season, taking a stretch pass from Roman Hamrlik, and making a move that will make many a highlight reel.

Despite a slow start, Carey Price picked up the pace in the final 40 minutes, making 33 saves for the win.

The Canadiens slide up into eight place in the Eastern Conference standings and willl face their division rival Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Three Stars: 1. Brian Gionta 2. Benoit Pouliot 3. Stephane Robidas

Photos: Montreal Gazette

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