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Canadiens outlast Oilers 5-3

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

The Montreal Canadiens finally found a way to win in Alberta.

Max Pacioretty had two goals and an assist and P.K. Subban added a goal and a pair of assists as the Canadiens beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 on Thursday night for their first win in Alberta in 10 games since Nov. 22, 2003.

The Canadiens had lost four in a row in Edmonton and dropped their fifth straight in Calgary on Tuesday. The win kept Montreal ahead of the 29th-place Oilers in the overall standings.

"You play to win," Subban said. "As far as the players in the dressing room go, you want to win every game and you want to compete. It's your job to go out there and try to win every game and that's what we did."

Tomas Kaberle and Lars Eller also scored for the Canadiens (26-32-10), who won for just the second time in nine games. The Oilers lost for the fourth time in five tries despite goals by Shawn Horcoff, Linus Omark and Taylor Hall.

"We were a little undisciplined," coach Tom Renney said. "We could have been a lot smarter tonight. As tough as it was from a fatigue perspective, you have to play smart and had we done that, certainly we had a shot at this game. Montreal played hard, but I think we could have had it had we played a smarter game."

Montreal broke a 2-2 tie three minutes into the third period when Kaberle lifted a power-play rebound from the side of the net over goalie Nikolai Khabibulin for his third of the season. Eller made it 4-2 at 5:07 by throwing a puck out from behind the net that caromed off Khabibulin and over the goal line.

Hall made it a one-goal game at 13:12 when he outwaited a defender before snapping home his 24th of the season. The Oilers pressed in the final minute -- at one point, the actually rested on the back of Montreal goalie Peter Budaj's neck before being cleared -- before Pacioretty scored his 30th of the season into an empty net with 17 seconds left.

Almost a year after his career was nearly ended by a big hit from Boston's Zdeno Chara, Pacioretty has turned into the Canadiens' top scorer.

"That's a heck of a thing to come back from," coach Randy Cunneyworth said. "The dedication and the work he has had to do is something. He came back bigger and stronger. That line as a group has done a lot of good work all year."

Both of Subban's assists came on Pacioretty's goals.

"I'm happy that I could help him get to 30 goals," Subban said. "I don't know if that means I get dinner or something like that. For a guy that has already gone through so much in his career with the neck injury, it's inspirational to see what he has done for our hockey club this year."

The Oilers' top-ranked power play opened the scoring 12:06 into the game when Horcoff tipped Corey Potter's point shot past Budaj. Subban's power-play blast tied it 17 seconds before intermission.

Montreal went ahead for the first time 2:02 into the middle period when Pacioretty knocked the rebound of a shot by Scott Gomez past Khabibulin. The Oilers got even at 6:42 when Omark's long shot hit a Montreal defenseman and went into the net. It was Omark's first goal since being recalled from Oklahoma City of the AHL.

"They battled, everyone does," Renney said. "It was one of those nights; we were a little off."

Both teams return to action on Saturday . The Canadiens play the third game of a four-game road trip in Vancouver while the Oilers travel to Colorado.

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
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