|Alex Kovalev had the last laugh against the Bruins in Game 2 by notching the overtime winner.
MONTREAL - It’s never a good idea to make Alex Kovalev mad. The Bruins found out the hard way in Game 2.
After being manhandled by the Bruins all night long without any of those transgressions leading to a Bruins penalty, Kovalev finally snapped. Unfortunately, his retaliatory slash to the back of Aaron Ward’s leg led to a two-minute minor which resulted in the Bruins tying the game 2-2 midway through the third period.
Staring at the possibility of leaving the Bell Centre wearing goat horns should the Canadiens have gone down to defeat, Kovalev got payback in overtime by scoring the winning goal.
“It got really frustrating to get hit and slashed all night. I guess I just got fed up,” admitted Kovalev. “The penalty I got was selfish, but I’m glad I had the chance to make up for it in the end.”
With the Habs’ top-ranked regular-season power play still in search of its first goal of the 2008 Playoffs through 12 opportunities heading into overtime, Professor Kovalev did a little mid-game homework to remedy the situation.
“[Tim Thomas] gave me that same opening on a power play earlier in the game, but I passed the puck to Streit at the point instead of letting a shot go,” recalled Kovalev. “Then when I had the same opportunity in overtime, I shot it short side when Thomas was expecting me to go far side. I guess I must have fooled him there.”
Kovalev, on the other hand, didn’t fool his head coach one bit. Seeing his star winger weave his magic to lead the Habs to victory isn’t much of a shocker to Guy Carbonneau these days.
“That’s what good players do,” explained Carbonneau. “They feed off those types of challenges. I wanted him to come back to the bench in overtime, but he wanted to stay out there. He wanted to prove to everyone what he could do.”
As the seconds ticked away during the Habs’ overtime power play, the fire in Kovalev’s eyes could be seen from the Habs’ bench.
“All of us could see that Kovy wanted to stay on the ice for the rest of that power play,” said Mathieu Dandenault. “We were all pretty much convinced that he was going to score. That’s the definition of a winner.”Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com