MONTREAL (AP) - The Montreal Canadiens are getting solid goaltending even though Jose Theodore is in the worst slump of his career.
Huet, acquired from Los Angeles following the 2003-04 season, made 35 saves for his fifth career shutout, his first since Feb. 23, 2004 against Nashville with the Kings. The 30-year-old Frenchman made his second consecutive start against the Bruins - who beat Montreal 3-1 at home Thursday - after relieving struggling starter Jose Theodore in three of the Canadiens' previous four games.
``I can't tell you how much that meant to us,'' said Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray, who scored into an empty net with 21.2 seconds remaining.
Markov, who missed eight games with a shoulder injury, scored a power-play goal 10:22 into the third period, putting a rebound of Alex Kovalev's shot off the left post into an open left side.
``He happened to score the goal in the third period, which is terrific, but I think he brought another presence to our defense, an elevation in our ability to find the open man,'' said Canadiens GM and coach Bob Gainey, whose record improved to 5-6 since he moved behind the bench after firing Claude Julien.
Huet made several big saves throughout and caught a break late in the game when Sergei Samsonov hit the left post during Boston's seventh power play opportunity of the game with less than 1:00 remaining.
``Obviously when you get a shutout you did something good and the desperation save at the end was a little bit lucky but it was very important too,'' Huet said.
Souray scored a short-handed goal moments later on a clearing slap shot from the bottom of the left faceoff circle in Montreal's zone.
``My golf swing curves like that also,'' Souray said.
Boston goalie Tim Thomas made 27 saves while losing in regulation for just the second time in 11 straight starts (7-2-2). Thomas has appeared in 13 games in a row with Boston since being recalled from Providence of the AHL on Jan. 10.
``I thought the goaltending on both sides was terrific,'' Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. ``Obviously their guy was really good for them. I thought he had some really timely saves throughout the course of the game and I thought Timmy made some big stops for us.''
Montreal, which had lost two in a row, won for just the third time in its last nine games (3-6-0). Boston had won two in a row and five of six.
It was the lowest scoring game of the season at the Bell Centre. The previous low was four goals in Montreal's 3-2 shootout win over Atlanta on Nov. 22.
Boston went 0-for-6 on the power play through the first two periods. The Canadiens failed to convert their two opportunities with the man advantage over the same stretch.
``Our power play just wasn't clicking,'' Bruins forward Brad Boyes said.
Montreal's power play finally broke the scoreless tie during its first opportunity of the third period. Kovalev put a shot past Thomas from the right side which squarely struck the left post. Thomas had little time to react as Markov jumped on the rebound and put a quick shot into the net for his eighth of the season as the sellout matinee crowd of 21,273 erupted into a huge cheer, many of them children who rarely have the opportunity to see a game.
``The team is going through a tough time and we wanted that win,'' Huet said. ``We did that as a team and it's pretty good to have the fans back on our side. It was a good game for us.''
Notes: Bruins D Brian Leetch missed his second straight game since aggravating a groin strain in his second game back after missing seven games. ... D Mark Streit and RWs Niklas Sundstrom and Aaron Downey did not dress for Montreal. ... The Canadiens have sold out each of their 24 home games.
|PPG - Andrei Markov (8) ASST: Alex Kovalev (23)|
1 - 0 MTL
|SHG - EN - Sheldon Souray (4) ASST: NONE|
2 - 0 MTL
|Power Play %||32.4%||23.9%|
|% on Road||27.3%||20.5%|
|% at Home||37.1%||26.5%|
|Travis Green Roughing against Andrei Markov|
|Tomas Plekanec Slashing against Glen Murray|
|Mike Komisarek Cross checking against Wayne Primeau|
|Craig Rivet Hooking against Patrice Bergeron|
|Mike Komisarek Interference against P.J. Axelsson|
|Andrei Markov Holding against Patrice Bergeron|
|Saku Koivu Hooking against Brad Boyes|
|Wayne Primeau Tripping against Saku Koivu|
|Andrew Alberts Hooking against Richard Zednik|
|Nick Boynton Hooking against Alex Kovalev|
|Craig Rivet Throwing stick|