On a night during which the Habs deserved a better fate, the Thrasers steered the game into shaky ground for goaltender Cristobal Huet: the shootout.
We are starting to understand that the penalty shot is not Huet's forte. He has often be caught frozen on shots that whistle over his shoulder. Often times, he doesn't seem to have blinked on the play, let alone moved to attempt the save.
This was not the conclusion Alex Kovalev had sought after a wonderful performance on his part. Kovalev skated with imagination and played now you see it, now you don't puck handling with the opponent all night. His was a simply marvellous display of talent over the 3 periods and change of play.
Francis Bouillon was effective in thwarting any Kovalchuk threat. The amazing Russian wasn't given the room to spin his wheels. He manged a few dangerous shots but could not unleash his full fury with any consistency. Now there's a nice feat: the team stared both Ovechkin and Kovalchuk down, giving them only inches to strut their stuff.
It was 65 minutes of good hockey. Not much to complain about for the coaches. In the old days, it would have been a hard fought tie and the visitors would have left satiated. It was a game to build on, and provides the team with the enthusiasm brought upon by the prospect of finishing the first half of this six-game road trip with 5 points out of a possible six.
Unless the Stars in Dallas fail to align themselves accordingly.