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Perfect weekend

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

MONTREAL -- The Habs wrapped up a perfect sports weekend on Sunday -- before Super Bowl 50 was even played.

And whether they’re cheering for Peyton or Cam, not even the result of Sunday’s other big game can spoil this Super Bowl Sunday for the Canadiens, after winning consecutive games for the first time since November 25 and 27.

“It’s a step in the right direction, and obviously we want to build on it. Everybody should feel good about their game and themselves,” underlined All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban, who extended his point streak to six games with an assist on Max Pacioretty’s second-period equalizer. “It’s important that spirits are up, and now we’ll continue taking things one game at a time.”

One player who has a lot to feel good about is goaltender Ben Scrivens, after putting up a combined 96.6% save percentage over the weekend, stopping 57 of 59 shots in addition to defeating his former team on Saturday.

“Obviously it’s nice to get two wins, whether you’re playing or not, but having a bit of ownership definitely makes it sweeter. The biggest thing is that we got the four points that we desperately needed,” admitted Scrivens, who helped the Habs complete a Super Bowl weekend sweep for just the sixth time in the past 25 years. “It’s good for our mentality obviously. We’ve had a lot of games recently where we’re getting 40 shots on net but coming up kind of empty-handed losing close games. To have that big game [against the Oilers] where we were finally getting some good bounces, and following that up with a close win today is hopefully a good step forward for us.”

Indeed, nine of the Canadiens’ last 10 losses dating back to January 5 have been by one goal or less, or have had an empty netter tallied at the end. A football bounces better than the bounces the Habs had been getting leading up to Saturday.

“I think the momentum of this weekend started early in the game against Edmonton. Ben made two huge saves against [Jordan] Eberle 1-on-0 in front of the net, and I think that kind of set the tempo for both him and us this weekend. These four points are big, but we know we owe them to the way he played,” confessed Pacioretty. “It’s been a long time [since we’ve won two in a row], so it’s a good stepping stone for where we want to be.”

If Scrivens’ sometimes-spectacular saves buoyed the the team beginning early on Saturday, then they continued to do so five rounds into an extended sudden death shootout on Sunday.

“I went into the shootout confident, and I’m glad it worked,” explained shootout hero Sven Andrighetto, who remains perfect in his tiebreaker attempts this season. “I pretty much take the same route every time, and from there I have different moves I can make. I chose that shot again because he was deep in his net -- that’s what I read off the goalie. It was the same thing I did against New Jersey -- he gave me the side so I took it.”

Having elected to shoot first however, the work wasn’t done yet after Andrighetto broke the ice.

“It feels great to help the team win the game, but Scrivy made that final big save right after my shootout goal. It wasn’t just one guy today -- it was the whole team together.”

Steven Nechay is a writer for canadiens.com.

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