MONTREAL – It’s been 11 games since Scott Gomez
last lit the lamp for the Canadiens, but the Habs’ center made sure to make his most recent goal count.
When Gomez roofed his seventh goal of the season over Rangers’ netminder Martin Biron in the second period, he wasn’t just breaking a 0-0 tie; he was also racking up the 30th game-winning goal of his career.
“Getting the two points is the only thing I really care about. If anything having 30 game winners is kind of embarrassing considering how many games I’ve played,” cracked the 31-year-old pivot, who now has 836 games under his belt. “I’m more of a guy who passes the puck – I’d rather see Kostitsyn get that one, but the stats don’t matter at all.”
Coming back to haunt his old team on Saturday afternoon, Gomez scored the goal exactly as he and the Canadiens’ coaching staff had drawn it up…sort of.
“It’s funny because Pierre [Groulx] and I work on that every morning and it finally worked, so I guess we’ll have to keep going with that drill,” laughed the 11-year NHL veteran. “It’s a good thing Pic [Alexandre Picard] can’t hit the net; I’m sure he’ll say he meant to do that, but I just closed my eyes and got a little bit lucky.”
Watching the perfect bounce find its way onto Gomez’s stick after rifling a shot from the point, even Picard wasn’t taking too much credit for the sweet set-up.
“We know the boards here are bouncy, but I’d be lying if I said that was what I had planned for the shot,” joked Picard, who picked up an assist and a fighting major in his first game since January 8.
Despite sealing the hard-earned win with his second game-winner of the season and earning second star efforts against the Rangers, Gomez was already looking ahead at Sunday’s game against his other former team.
“We can’t be that satisfied,” he underlined. “When you have the lead, you can’t sit back. We’ll take the two points because we know how big it is, but at the same time, there’s some stuff we need to clear up and tomorrow’s a big game.
“Every time you look at the [standings] every team is close. These are all must-wins and we want to get ourselves to a position where we’re gearing towards the playoffs, not just trying to get in.” Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
Postgame comments: Martin | Price | Gionta | Gomez | Picard
Canadiens 2, Rangers 0 BoxscoreThe Numbers Game - Feb. 5, 2011