Montreal at Nashville

Samsonov, Koivu lead Habs to shootout win vs. Preds


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A two-goal deficit was not too much for the Montreal Canadiens to overcome. It just took them a few tries.

Montreal fell behind by two less than four minutes after the opening faceoff Tuesday night and trailed by that margin two other times before the Canadiens rallied for a 6-5 shootout victory over the Nashville Predators.

"Obviously not the start we wanted, to be down by two," rookie goalie Jaroslav Halak said. "But we battled back. ... Big game for us."

Sergei Samsonov forced overtime when he scored with 47.1 seconds to play in regulation, and Saku Koivu's shootout goal provided the difference in a shootout which extended to four skaters per side.

Peter Forsberg, acquired by Nashville in a trade last week, had a chance to answer Koivu's goal, but slipped to the ice on his attempt against Halak.

"We kept letting them back in," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "Full credit, they stayed in it (and) ... in a shootout, anything can happen."

Samsonov had a goal and an assist, and Koivu had two assists for the Canadiens, who won their third straight after a six-game losing streak. Halak remained unbeaten in the NHL with his third straight victory since being called up and making his debut last week.

Nashville regained a share of first place in the Central Division and Western Conference standings despite the loss. The Predators are tied with Detroit with 84 points, but the Red Wings have one game in hand. The teams will play five times in the next four weeks, beginning with a game Saturday at Nashville.

Michael Ryder, Mark Streit, Garth Murray and Alexander Perezhogin scored for Montreal. Ryder became the second Canadiens player with 20 goals this season when he one-timed a pass through the crease by Koivu and made it 2-1 with five seconds remaining on a 5-on-3 advantage in the first period.

After Perezhogin made it 4-4 with a power-play goal 4:08 into the third period, David Legwand put Nashville back in front less than two minutes later when his shot from behind the goal line deflected in off the legs of Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray.

"Sometimes you need games like this to build the confidence," Koivu said. "Hopefully, from here on, it will be a little easier to win games."

The Predators snapped an 0-for-19 power-play drought when they converted three times in the first 22:28. J.P. Dumont got the last of those with one-timer from the right wing which made it 4-2.

Scott Hartnell and Steve Sullivan also scored with the man-advantage, and Legwand and Shea Weber scored even-strength goals. Dumont finished with a goal and two assists, and Hartnell and Sullivan each had a goal and an assist.

Sullivan missed the final minutes of overtime and the shootout with an undisclosed injury.

"We did exactly what we wanted to, like having good power plays, good chances, playing well five-on-five," Dumont said. "They got back in the game every time."


  • Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun had an assist on the first goal. It was his second assist in as many games.
  • Koivu has three straight multipoint games. He has one goal and six assists in that span.
  • Peter Forsberg, acquired by the Predators in a trade with Philadelphia last week, failed for the third time to record his first point for Nashville.
  • Montreal has scored seven power-play goals in the last three games, its best stretch since it had eight over three games from Dec. 14-19.
  • This was Nashville's final game against an Eastern Conference opponent. The Predators went 7-2-1 against the East.
Copyright 2018 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.
Goalie Tomas Vokoun can't prevent Canadien Saku Koivu's game winner during the shootout period.  (AP)
Goalie Tomas Vokoun can't prevent Canadien Saku Koivu's game winner during the shootout period. (AP)
Montreal  (32-25-6) «21201 (2)6
Nashville (40-18-4)31100 (1)5
Three Stars
J. Dumont

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
S. Samsonov

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
R. Suter

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2

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Scoring Summary
01:22Power Play - Steve Sullivan (21), Snap Shot - Assists: Ryan Suter, Tomas Vokoun
03:57Shea Weber (11), Tip-In - Assists: J.P. Dumont, Jason Arnott
10:43Power Play - Michael Ryder (20), Snap Shot - Assists: Saku Koivu, Sheldon Souray
13:49Power Play - Scott Hartnell (22), Tip-In - Assists: J.P. Dumont, Steve Sullivan
16:27Mark Streit (7), Backhand Shot - Assists: Sergei Samsonov, Andrei Kostitsyn
02:28Power Play - J.P. Dumont (16), Wrist Shot - Assists: Jason Arnott, Ryan Suter
12:57Garth Murray (2), Backhand Shot - Assists: Mike Komisarek, Mike Johnson
04:08Power Play - Alexander Perezhogin (6), Wrist Shot - Assists: Saku Koivu, Mark Streit
05:55David Legwand (21), Slap Shot - Assists: Scott Hartnell, Vitaly Vishnevski
19:12Sergei Samsonov (9), Wrist Shot - Assists: Tomas Plekanec, Mathieu Dandenault
Penalty Summary
00:47Markov: Interference - 2 min.
08:48Hamhuis: Tripping - 2 min.
09:59Zanon: Hooking - 2 min.
12:11Latendresse: Hooking - 2 min.
17:33Markov: Tripping - 2 min.
00:58Latendresse: Tripping - 2 min.
05:22Komisarek: Holding - 2 min.
09:50Suter: Hooking - 2 min.
14:39Dandenault: High sticking - 4 min.
02:35Legwand: Interference - 2 min.
10:29Dumont: Interference - 2 min.
10:29Lapierre: Holding the stick - 2 min.
13:10Dumont: Hooking - 2 min.
Jaroslav Halak 64:2726541
Tomas Vokoun 64:5022542
Game Information
Attendance - 15808
Referees - Brad Meier, Dean Warren
Linesmen - Don Henderson, Derek Nansen
Other Games
Ott 5 Final
Buf 6
NJ 3 Final
Phi 2 Final
Car 3
TB 5 Final
Atl 4
Edm 4 Final
Colu 0
Tor 2 Final
Pitt 2 Final
Fla 1
SJ 2 Final
Chi 0
Cal 2 Final
Pho 3
Min 4 Final
Colo 3
Van 3 Final
LA 2