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Ready to rumble

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
Maxim Lapierre introduced his shoulder to more than a few Bruins on Tuesday night.
MONTREAL – A tough test awaits the Canadiens on Thursday night in New Jersey, but coming off a goal and fight-filled affair with the Bruins, the Habs will be ready.

The Devils will have their hands full when they welcome a Canadiens squad who did it all against Boston, from scoring a season-high eight goals, to refusing to be intimidated in any way.

As goals were being scored at a frenetic pace, the festivities were halted by a dangerous hit on Steve Begin. Playing his first game in seven weeks due to a separated left shoulder, Begin was sent flying into boards midway through the third period.

“It was the same shoulder so that made it pretty scary,” admitted Begin, who left the ice in obvious pain. “I started feeling better after that, but they wouldn’t let me back out there since it we were already leading 6-1. I’m just relieved that I’m ok.”

Just as comforting to him was the sight of linemate Tom Kostopoulos immediately dropping his gloves with Shane Hnidy of the Bruins after his questionable hit from behind sent Begin wincing to the dressing room.

“That kind stuff is always good to see and great for team morale,” said Begin. “I was glad to see him do it. It shows how close-knit a team we have here.”

After Begin was done recounting the night’s events, in walks sniper-turned fighter Sergei Kostitsyn, complete with ice on his hand as a result of his tilt with Chuck Kobasew. If the Bell Centre crowd was shocked to see the Habs rookie in a fight, they weren’t alone.

“Trust me, it was a surprise to me too,” revealed Kostitsyn with a smile. “That was my first fight, ever.”

The younger Kostitsyn’s tussle didn’t go unnoticed by linemates Guillaume Latendresse and Maxim Lapierre.

“I think we’ll call him Serge, so he can play on a Quebec line with Maxim and I,” laughed Latendresse. “We can mix it up out there and Sergei can fight.”

The Canadiens will need every ounce of their muscle as they look to win their first game in New Jersey since Feb. 5, 2002.

Manny Almela is a writer for
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