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Carolina at Montreal

Koivu's shootout goal propels hot Canadiens past Hurricanes

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MONTREAL -- The Canadiens stayed tough and enjoyed their first home victory against the Carolina Hurricanes in more than four years.

Saku Koivu scored a shootout goal and Carey Price stopped all three shots in the tiebreaker to give Montreal a 3-2 victory on Tuesday night.

Koivu beat Cam Ward with a backhand on the Canadiens' second attempt. Price stopped Matt Cullen, Eric Staal and Ray Whitney to seal the victory.

The Hurricanes had won nine straight at the Bell Centre -- including three playoff victories in 2006 -- since the lockout that canceled the 2004-05 season. Montreal hadn't beaten Carolina on home ice since recording a 1-0 overtime victory on Feb. 28, 2004.

"We've had some problems against that team, so we'll take these two points," Koivu said. "Sometimes in a long season you don't play your best or you don't play the way you were hoping, nights like that when you can get two points, that's the bottom line."

Alex Tanguay scored on a penalty shot in the final seconds of the first period and Price stopped 31 shots for Montreal, which closed out a 4-1 homestand despite falling 6-4 to Anaheim on Saturday in the team's first regulation loss of the season.

The Canadiens' power-play unit of Koivu, Alexei Kovalev, Robert Lang and Andrei Markov pressed hard in overtime for the winning goal but couldn't beat Ward. He made a huge stop on Lang after Staal drew a tripping penalty 2:35 into the extra session.

Kovalev scored an unassisted goal 15:56 in to make it 1-1.

With the Canadiens working on a 5-on-3 advantage late in the period, Carolina defenseman Dennis Seidenberg closed his hand on the puck in the crease. Tanguay was awarded a penalty shot for the infraction, and he beat Ward with 10.1 seconds remaining for his sixth goal of the season to put Montreal up 2-1.

"He's a good goalie," Tanguay said of Ward. "He moves well and obviously at the end of the period you don't want to mess around with the puck in the slot because the ice gets pretty chippy out there. You just want to make sure you get a good shot, and I got it over the pad and fortunately for us it went in."

Cullen drew Carolina even with his fourth goal, scored 40 seconds into the third. Cullen put a rebound of Seidenberg's shot under Price's left pad.

"It was a shot and it popped out of my glove and it went to the side of the net," Price said. "I thought it was going to get chopped away, but it ended up getting chopped toward the net. I was in the middle of getting up and it popped through my legs and I couldn't get back down again."

Price got an automatic delay of game penalty with 2:01 remaining in the third when he played the puck aggressively and cleared it over the glass.

"The guys did a great job -- I think they only got one or two shots, maybe, right at the end," Price said. "I had to go to the bench and thank all the guys for that one."

Anton Babchuk scored his first of the season midway through the first for Carolina, which fell to 2-1-2 on its longest road trip of the season, a six-game stretch that will end Thursday in St. Louis.

"I thought we did a good job and that's what's frustrating about the shootout, now everybody's saddled with a loss and it's like you buried your dead cat in the locker room -- nobody's talking," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said.

The Canadiens honored former coaches Dick Irvin, Toe Blake and Scotty Bowman before the game as part of the team's 100th season celebrations.

Bowman, currently a senior adviser with the Chicago Blackhawks, was on hand for the ceremonial faceoff along with broadcaster Dick Irvin Jr. and Blake's son, Bruce.

Andrei Kostitsyn returned to Montreal's lineup after missing two games because of a concussion.

Rookie center Brandon Sutter and defenseman Joni Pitkanen were both out of the Hurricanes' lineup because of injuries sustained Saturday in a 4-3 road victory against the New York Islanders.

Sutter is out indefinitely with a concussion from an open-ice hit by the Islanders' Doug Weight. Pitkanen tore the meniscus in his knee and is expected to be sidelined for a month.

Babchuk's shot from the right point off a faceoff in the Canadiens zone struck Koivu's stick and deflected past Price for a power-play goal 11:04 in.

Notes

  • The Hurricanes have not lost in regulation in Montreal in almost five years. Carolina is 6-0-2 in the regular season at the Bell Centre since a 3-1 loss to the Canadiens on Dec. 6, 2003.
  • Irvin, Blake and Bowman coached the Canadiens to a total of 16 Stanley Cup championships between 1940 and 1979.
  • D Patrice Brisebois, RW Georges Laraque and LW Steve Begin were healthy scratches for Montreal.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Cam Ward stops Tomas Plekanec in the shootout, but gives up the decider to Saku Koivu.  (AP)
Cam Ward stops Tomas Plekanec in the shootout, but gives up the decider to Saku Koivu. (AP)
Scoreboard
Carolina (4-2-2)10100 (0)2
Montreal  (6-1-1) «20001 (1)3
Three Stars
E. Staal
CAR


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
D. Seidenberg
CAR


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1
A. Kovalev
MON


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
11:04Power Play - Anton Babchuk (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Gleason, Brind'Amour
15:56Alexei Kovalev (3), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
19:49Power Play - Alex Tanguay (6), Penalty Shot, Unassisted.
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
40.0Matt Cullen (4), Backhand Shot. Assist: Seidenberg, Eaves
OT
None
SHOOTOUT
 Saku Koivu (1), GOAL
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
09:30O'Byrne, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
11:55Ruutu, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
13:46Kostitsyn, 2 min, Hooking
18:18Cullen, 2 min, Hooking
18:55Gleason, 2 min, High-Sticking
2ND PERIOD
03:32Seidenberg, 2 min, Hooking
05:38Hamrlik, 2 min, Interference
08:37Ruutu, 2 min, Slashing
12:50Kostitsyn, 2 min, Holding the Stick
3RD PERIOD
06:05Bouillon, 2 min, Interference
10:09Ruutu, 2 min, Hooking
10:53Plekanec, 2 min, Holding
17:59Price, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
OT
02:35Staal, 2 min, Tripping
SHOOTOUT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
Carolina10101131
Montreal96419
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGASO SSO GA
Cam Ward 65:0023221
Carey Price 65:0031230
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Carolina1-for-7
Montreal1-for-7
Game Information
Attendance - 21273
Referees - Stephane Auger, Don Van Massenhoven
Linesmen - Scott Driscoll, Pierre Racicot
 
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