Montreal clinches a playoff spot.
The Montreal Canadiens are now officially qualified into the 2008 NHL playoffs. Yesterday, the team has defeated the Ottawa Senators by the score of 7-5 at the Bell centre to ensure their place into the spring competition.
The Canadiens played a perfect first and second period in yesterday's game. After two frames, the Habs were leading by an impressive 7-1. But the Senators did sent a message to the home team during the third period. The Senators went firing on all cylinders and scored four unanswered goals during the final period. But the Canadiens' lead was just too large to be covered.
Andrei Kostitsyn with two goals, his second one counting as his 25th of the season, Andrei Markov, Christopher Higgins, Francis Bouillon, Mikhail Grabovski and Tom Kostopoulos scored for the winners during the first two periods.
Dany Heatley with two goals during the third period, Antoine Vermette, Martin Lapointe and Jason Spezza replied for the Senators.
Goaltender Carey Price registered his 20th win of his rookie season. He played a solid game all around despite the five goals allowed.
The Canadiens have now carved a seven point lead over the Senators in the Northeast division and a three point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins on top of the Eastern conference. With only five games to be played, the top spot now becomes a reachable target for the team.
The team will enjoy a three days rest before playing the Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs friday and saturday. Both of these teams are fighting for their playoff lives.
(Picture: The Montreal Canadiens, Getty Images.)