It was a  busy night for teams in the Northeast Division, with the Boston Bruins the only team not in action.

In Montreal, the Canadiens continued to prove that the coach was not the problem even though general manager Bob Gainey saw fit to can his friend Guy Carbonneau and take over behind the bench. The Habs were outshot, 16-5, in the third period at home by the New York Rangers, and Montreal lost in a shootout.

“For a team in our position, going into the third period tied with the shots about equal and playing at home, it should have been a night for us to force the play,” Gainey said in Pat Hickey’s report in The Gazette.

MK: Wow just a couple weeks in and Coach Gainey is already grasping at straws and learning what GM Gainey obviously didn’t about this roster. The only thing keeping the Habs alive for the playoffs is the collapse of Buffalo and the injuries to Florida.

Elsewhere around the division:

•Speaking of Buffalo, Mikael Tellqvist was solid in his Sabres debut between the pipes, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a loss to lowly Ottawa.

•If you can believe it, Toronto rallied from 3-0 down to beat Tampa Bay behind Curtis Joseph, who got a funny hat for his efforts.

Brendan Bell was the star of that Senators win over Buffalo.