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Habs Notebook - Feb. 23, 2008

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Captain K : After scoring the game-winning shootout goal against the New York Rangers, Canadiens' captain Saku Koivu followed it up with a solid performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night. Koivu was the game's second star, notching a goal and an assist in a losing effort against the Penguins.  The Canadiens' leader is fourth in team scoring with 12 goals and 33 assists in 61 games played.

Secondary scoring: With all of the attention focused on the Andrei Kostitsyn, Tomas Plekanec and Alex Kovalev, the former trio of Michael Ryder, Christopher Higgins and Saku Koivu have taken a back seat. On Thursday however, the threesome reminded the Bell Centre crowd that they are serious offensive threats. Although they're no longer on the same line, Ryder, Higgins, and Koivu all scored against the Penguins. Forward Michael Ryder is on fire as of late, scoring four goals and one assist in his last three games.

Unchartered territory: Even though the Habs haven't squared off against the Blue Jackets on a regular basis, they have fared well against their Western Conference opponents. In six regular season matchups against the team that was added to the NHL in the 2000 expansion, the Canadiens boast a 3-1-1-1 record against the Blue Jackets, most recently defeating them 3-2 in Columbus last season. Defensemen Francis Bouillon potted the game's winning goal, and captain Saku Koivu scored one goal and added a helper.

R.Hains- Defensemen Ron Hainsey has come a long way from being the Montreal Canadiens' first round pick in the 2000 entry draft. The Bolton, Connecticut native has blossomed into a solid defenseman since being placed on waivers by Montreal in November 2005. Hainsey has seven goals and 21 assists this season and is on pace to break his career-high nine goals and 25 assists set in the 2006-07season.

Taking many for the team- Although Cristobal Huet and Carey Price have both played a significant role in the Canadiens' rise to the top of the Eastern Conference standings, most people ignore the two other players who have been instrumental in keeping the puck out of the Canadiens net. Both Mike Komisarek and Roman Hamirlik are among the league leaders in blocked shots. Komisarek is tops in the NHL with 186 blocked shots, and #44 is ranked seventh with 139.
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