It had been more than five years since the Atlanta Thrashers had won in Montreal. Colby Armstrong ended that drought on Tuesday night.
Armstrong broke a 4-4 tie by scoring with 6:46 remaining in regulation and Ondrej Pavelec made 34 saves as the Thrashers hung on for a 5-4 win against the Canadiens at the Bell Centre. It was Atlanta's first win in Montreal since Feb. 17, 2004.
''It is a tough building,'' said Armstrong, who beat Carey Price just 34 seconds after Montreal's Tomas Plekanec had tied the game. ''I think it's an exciting atmosphere and I think guys get up to play here, but at the same time it is a nerve-racking place to play. To come in here and play like we did tonight on the road, I thought we played pretty well.''
Rich Peverley had another big game for the Thrashers despite the absence of injured captain Ilya Kovalchuk. Peverley, who was rewarded with a new two-year contract last month, had a goal and two assists to help Atlanta improve to 6-4-1.
Peverley scored his seventh goal of the season just 2:13 after Bryan Little broke a scoreless tie late in the first period. But the Canadiens trailed only 3-2 by the end of the second, as Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri sandwiched Mark Popovic's first goal of the season.
''It's good to get him a goal and get him on the scoresheet,'' Peverley said of Little, who finally got his first goal of the season after scoring 31 times in 2008-09. ''I think he's pretty happy. I think he's going to get going now. He's a great player, he scored a lot of goals last year for us.''
Gionta tied the game 86 seconds into the third period when he intercepted Christoph Schubert's pass and beat Pavelec for an unassisted goal, his sixth of the season. Pavel Kubina quickly restored Atlanta's lead with a power-play tally -- his first of the season -- at 4:10.
''Every time they scored we seemed to come back and have a good shift and kind of get back in the game,'' Peverley said. ''That showed a lot of character on our team.''
The loss dropped Price's record to 2-6 and snapped Montreal's five-game winning streak on home ice. The Canadiens are now below the .500 mark at 7-8-0.
''You can put on a fake smile and say everything's O.K. but it is frustrating,'' Price said. ''They're not all bad goals that are going in. I'll keep working and hopefully those good goals will stop going in.''
Material from wire services was used in this report
|Bryan Little (1) ASST: Rich Peverley (8)|
1 - 0 ATL
|Rich Peverley (7) ASST: Todd White (2), Bryan Little (6)|
2 - 0 ATL
|Brian Gionta (5) ASST: Scott Gomez (8)|
2 - 1 ATL
|Mark Popovic (1) ASST: Maxim Afinogenov (5), Nik Antropov (11)|
3 - 1 ATL
|Mike Cammalleri (7) ASST: NONE|
3 - 2 ATL
|Brian Gionta (6) ASST: NONE|
3 - 3 Tie
|PPG - Pavel Kubina (1) ASST: Nik Antropov (12), Rich Peverley (9)|
4 - 3 ATL
|Tomas Plekanec (4) ASST: Guillaume Latendresse (1), Maxim Lapierre (4)|
4 - 4 Tie
|Colby Armstrong (2) ASST: Marty Reasoner (4), Evander Kane (3)|
5 - 4 ATL
|Roman Hamrlik Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Toby Enstrom Tripping against Max Pacioretty|
|Scott Gomez Interference against Bryan Little|
|Todd White Roughing against Jaroslav Spacek|
|Gregory Stewart Cross checking against Mark Popovic|
|Eric Boulton Interference against Brian Gionta|
|Mathieu Carle Tripping against Evander Kane|
|Tomas Plekanec Roughing against Bryan Little|
|Bryan Little Roughing against Tomas Plekanec|