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Canadiens beat Penguins in shootout

Sunday, 10.28.2007 / 2:20 AM / Roundup

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Alex Kovalez of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates with teammates Andrei Markov and Christopher Higgins after Markov scored on the 16th attempt of the shootout to give the Habs a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Carey Price didn’t have to work hard to win his first NHL shootout – though he did have to put in a longer-than-expected night.
   
Montreal’s rookie goaltender saw the Pittsburgh Penguins rally from a 3-0 deficit to force the shootout. But he had to make only three saves on eight Pittsburgh shooters before defenseman Andrei Markov scored on the 16th attempt of the shootout to give the Canadiens a 4-3 victory.

Video 
   
“It didn’t feel like I had to touch the puck that much,” Price said after winning the longest shootout in the NHL this season. “That's part of being a goalie, trying to make yourself look big and try to make them hit a small target. Hopefully they either miss the net or hit me.”
   
Price actually made saves on Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and was credited with one on an attempt that Sergei Gonchar largely flubbed. Four other shooters missed and Mark Recchi hit the goalpost on his attempt before Markov’s backhander past Dany Sabourin gave the Canadiens the win.
   
Markov, Mathieu Dandenault and Michael Ryder scored for Montreal, which has won four in a row and scored 20 goals in that span. The Canadiens came to Pittsburgh after a 7-4 victory in Carolina on Friday night.
   
“To play two days in a row and win two games, it’s a great win for us,” Markov said. “All that's important is we got the two points.
   
After 15 shooters could not score on either goaltender, Markov made a move and beat Sabourin between the legs with a backhander.
   
“He made a good move. I thought he was going to go far side,” said Sabourin, who relieved Marc-Andre Fleury early in the second period after Montreal had taken a 3-0 lead. “That was a great shootout, both goalies made some great saves. It's too bad we didn't get out with the win.”
   
The goaltending change seemed to perk up the Penguins, who got second-period goals from Petr Sykora and Crosby before defenseman Ryan Whitney scored a power-play goal with 1:52 left in regulation to tie the game.

“I think we controlled the puck for the first 30 minutes,” Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. “But this was the second game in two days, so guys were getting tired at the end.”
Crosby wasn’t happy with his team’s slow start, even if the Penguins did rally to get a point.
   
“I think we need to play with more emotion and I think that goal and that power play certainly lifted us a bit and got us back in the game,” Crosby said. “I think we rolled on from there.”
   
Stars 5, Coyotes 3 | Video
   
After a slow start, Mike Modano is closing in on the NHL scoring record for U.S.-born players.
   
Modano had his first multi-point night of the season with a goal and an assist in Phoenix, moving him within two of tying Phil Housley’s record of 1,232 points. He scored a power-play goal at 8:01 of the second period and assisted on Mike Ribeiro’s third-period goal.
   
“It’s amazing what he has accomplished. He is a great ambassador for the game,'' Stars coach Dave Tippett said. ''When you think of USA hockey, he is in the forefront of hockey in the U.S.”
   
Modano, now 37, has played his entire career with the franchise since the Minnesota North Stars made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 1988 draft. He made his NHL debut in 1989.

“I’m reminded of the record all the time right now,” said Modano, who entered the game with just one goal and one assist. “I’m just concerned about having a positive impact on my team. I have not been going good recently, and need to take little steps before the big ones.”
Sergei Zubov, Niklas Hagman and Jere Lehtinen also scored for Dallas, which had its biggest offensive game of the season.
   
Shane Doan, Radim Vrbata and Daniel Carcillo scored for Phoenix, which has lost five straight at home.
   
“We worked hard getting our discipline in place. It seems the last few games we've gone out of our way not to be smart about our play. We have to reel that in during the coming games,” Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said.
     
Flyers 2, Bruins 1 | Video
   
Boston’s Patrice Bergeron was taken off the ice with a concussion and a broken nose after a first-period hit from behind by Philadelphia defenseman Randy Jones at TD Banknorth Garden. The best news for the Bruins was that tests didn't show any other serious injuries to Bergeron's head or neck, and he was awake and able to move all his limbs, according to Boston team physician Dr. Bertram Zarins.
   
Bergeron was knocked unconscious, wheeled off the ice and taken to Massachusetts General Hospital. Jones was given a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct.
   
“The initial x-rays and CT scan have not shown any other serious injury to his head or neck, and he has full feeling and motion in all of his extremities. We will continue to monitor Patrice and await the final results of his medical study,” Zarins said.
   
All the scoring took place in the second period. Marco Sturm gave Boston a 1-0 lead before goals by Joffrey Lupul and Mike Richards gave Philadelphia the lead. Martin Biron made 32 saves in the final two periods, including an arm stop on Phil Kessel’s penalty shot late in the middle period.
   
“I thought our guys battled hard. I thought we probably deserved better,” Boston coach Claude Julien said.
   
Maple Leafs 4, Rangers 1 | Video

Maple Leafs' captain Mats Sundin celebrates in front of New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist in Toronto's 4-1 win on Saturday night.
Not even a visit from one of the NHL’s worst defensive teams was enough to help the offensively challenged Rangers – especially when their usually stingy defense failed. Pavel Kubina scored to trigger a three-goal second period as Toronto beat the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
   
“We needed it,'' Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice said after his team completed a two-game road sweep. “The great part about being on the road is we were certainly more relaxed.”
   
The Rangers, who came into the game with a league-low 15 goals scored and league-best 17 allowed, actually scored first when Jaromir Jagr ripped a screened wrist shot past Vesa Toskala 5:44 into the second period. But the Leafs didn’t panic.
   
“We were not happy down one (goal), but comfortable down one instead of forcing things,'' Maurice said. ''We just kept playing and kept playing. That's the game we have to play at home – a simple game.”
   
Kubina tied it less than three minutes later, and a puckhandling error by goalie Henrik Lundqvist led to John Pohl’s go-ahead goal at 15:46. Nik Antropov scored from the low slot 80 seconds later to make it a two-goal lead. Chad Kilger added an empty-netter.
   
“They pretty much beat us with a good eight-minute stretch,” Lundqvist said. “It's going to be too tough on the defense if we have to rely on a one-goal lead every night. We played well, but we have to score more.”
   
The lack of offense is frustrating the Rangers, who were expected to produce lots of offense after adding free agents Chris Drury and Scott Gomez to a lineup that included Jagr and Brendan Shanahan.
   
“I thought we played well in the first period. Something happened in the second,'' Jagr said after the Rangers fell to 3-6-1. “We have to score more goals to win hockey games. Hank can't stop all the shots. It's too much pressure for him.”
   
Predators 4, Panthers 3 | Video
   
Nashville paid tribute to former goaltender Tomas Vokoun before the game, then spoiled his return to the Sommet Center when Radek Bonk’s pass went into the net off Jerrod Smithson’s backside for the game-winning goal with 13 seconds left in regulation.
   
“I’m not going to lie. I didn't even know it went off of me until Bonk told me,” said Smithson, who was lying on the ice when the puck hit him. “The last two games I have just been driving the net and have been lucky enough to get goals.”
   
Vernon Fiddler scored twice and Bonk had a goal as Nashville won its second straight after losing six in a row. Olli Jokinen scored twice for the Panthers.
   
The Predators traded Vokoun to Florida during the summer. He was honored with a video montage and a standing ovation before the game, in tribute to his eight seasons in Nashville.
   
“I don't know what the reason is for why this is happening,” said Vokoun, who also was beaten by a fluky tie-breaking goal in Friday night’s 4-2 home loss to Buffalo. “We basically give away games night after night. There was no way their guy should have entered our zone that late in the game. We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot at the worst possible times.”
   
Hurricanes 8, Islanders 3 | Video

Hurricanes' Ray Whitney, Cory Stillman, Rod Brind'Amour and Frantisek Kaberle celebrate one of Brind'Amour's three goals on the night in Carolina's 8-3 win over the New York Islanders.
One night after their worst game of the season, Carolina was at its best – and after a week off, the Islanders definitely were not. Rod Brind'Amour had his third career hat trick and Ray Whitney and Justin Williams each scored twice as the Hurricanes tore through the Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum.
   
The ‘Canes came to Long Island after a 7-4 home loss to Montreal on Friday in which they allowed five power-play goals and were defensively delinquent. This time, it was the Hurricanes who couldn’t miss and the Islanders who couldn’t stop anyone.
   
“We had to play our game and not worry about the outcome of a game that's already past us,'' Brind'Amour said. “Tonight, we were rolling four lines a little better. We had good flow, and obviously, we capitalized on our chances.”
   
The Islanders were dreadful after not playing since last Saturday. They trailed 3-0 after one period and 6-2 after two. Richard Park missed on a penalty shot early in the third period, after which Carolina scored two quick power-play goals.

“I don't want to sit here and make excuses for what happened tonight,” goalie Rick DiPietro said after stopping just seven of 13 shots. “Whatever it was, hopefully we got it out of our system, and we can get back to the way we were playing.”

The Isles, who don’t play again until Thursday, downplayed the long layoff as a reason for the loss.

“It's mental,” captain Bill Guerin said. “We were physically ready, and I thought we were mentally ready, but we made mental mistakes. We were stubborn. We made simple mistakes that ended up costing us.”

Sabres 4, Lightning 3, OT | Video

For the second straight night, the Sabres took advantage of a lucky bounce to get a win. This time, Thomas Vanek’s pass deflected off Tampa Bay defenseman Shane O’Brien with 40.5 seconds left in OT as the Lightning failed to win at home for the first time in six games this season.

“I was just trying to get down and stop the pass from going across and I stopped it, but it went in,” O'Brien said.

Vincent Lecavalier gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead on a wrist shot from the right circle during a 5-on-3 power play at 6:14 of the third period. The Sabres tied the game when Nathan Paetsch stopped a personal 22-game goal drought, scoring from the lower left circle with 6:47 remaining.

“We poured on as much as we could," said Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff, whose club won in Florida on Friday night thanks to a fluke goal by Drew Stafford that broke a third-period tie.

"With three games in four nights, and the back-to-back games, I thought that our guys gave it everything they had and they were rewarded for how hard they worked."

Blue Jackets 2, Sharks 1| Video
   
San Jose Sharks' Patrick Rissmiller checks Columbus Blue Jackets' Jan Hejda into the boards.
Ten games into the season, the Columbus Blue Jackets are off to the best start in franchise history – largely because scoring on them has become very difficult, especially at home.
   
Sergei Fedorov scored the tie-breaking goal late in the second period and Pascal Leclaire made 16 saves as the Jackets improved to 6-3-1, their best-ever 10-game start.
   
“We are a difficult team to play against in the middle of the ice,” said Fedorov, who helped the Detroit Red Wings win Stanley Cups in 1997, 1998 and 2002. “And I think we didn't make any turnovers in the neutral zone.”
   
Columbus has allowed just seven goals in six home games. Joe Thornton’s goal 7:12 into the game was the only shot to elude Leclaire. Dan Fritsche tied the game just 77 seconds later.
   
“The thing that is impressive for us is it was our sixth game in 11 days,” said Ken Hitchcock, who has overseen a remarkable turnaround in his first full season as coach. “We are learning to play with the lead by not sitting back, instead going after it.”
   
Fedorov’s game-winner came with Doug Murray serving a double-minor for high-sticking. He floated a screened shot from the point through traffic and past goaltender Evgeni Nabokov for his third of the season.
   
“We kind of got a bad break on Dougie Murray's penalty,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. “The puck bounces, he takes a swipe at it, misses it, hits the guy in the face and draws blood and we have to kill a four-minute penalty.”
   
Blues 4, Capitals 3 | Video
   
Fans at the Scottrade Center had better get to their seats on time. If they don’t, they might miss a Brad Boyes goal.
   
Boyes scored twice as St. Louis held off the Capitals; the first goal came 45 seconds into the game – the third time since arriving from Boston late last season that he’s scored at home within 74 seconds of the drop of the puck.
   
“We should play all games at home if things go like that,” he said. “It’s about taking the energy from the crowd and carry it over to the ice. We've been doing that.”

Boyes' second goal broke a 2-2 tie by beating ex-Blue Brent Johnson with 1:19 left in the second period. David Backus scored 1:11 into the third period to give the Blues a 4-2 lead and enable them to survive Michael Nylander’s late goal.

Mike Green scored the other two goals for Washington, which has lost six of its last seven.
   
Thrashers 3, Blackhawks 2
   
Vyacheslav Kozlov of the Thrashers watches the puck get past Blackhawks goalie Patrick Lalime in Atlanta's 3-2 win over Chicago.
Atlanta needs Ilya Kovalchuk and Slava Kozlov to produce in order to dig out of a 2-8-0 hole. They did just that in Chicago, with Kovalchuk scoring the tie-breaking goal and setting up two power-play goals as the Thrashers handed Chicago its third consecutive loss.
   
''You need your best players to be your stars and they were tonight,'' said general manager and interim coach Don Waddell, who took over after the Thrashers lost their first six games under Bob Hartley. They are 3-2-0 since the coaching change.
   
“'We have some real dynamic players on our team, and it's good for us to get them going,” said goaltender Johan Hedberg, who made 29 saves.
   
Chicago got a goal from No. 1 overall draft pick Patrick Kane and a goal and an assist from Jason Williams, but couldn’t recover from a 3-1 deficit.
   
“I think we took it to them pretty hard tonight, actually,” Kane said. “We've got to finish our chances. I guess that's just bad bounces. Maybe we can get a lucky one, a rebound of something.”
   
Kings 4, Oilers 1 | Video
   
Los Angeles kept goaltender Jason LaBarbera in the minors last season because management feared he’d be lost on waivers if they tried to bring him back. He’s now showing why they wanted to keep him.
   
LaBarbera made 34 saves for his fourth straight victory and Patrick O’Sullivan had his first two-goal game in the NHL as the Kings downed the visiting Oilers.
   
Anze Kopitar and Ladislav Nagy also scored for the Kings, who have won five of six following a 1-5 start. LaBarbera has allowed only four goals over the last four games while facing 109 shots.
   
“We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing,” said LaBarbera. “We had a lot of new guys at the start of the season – a lot of guys were struggling at the same time. Now we have confidence in each other.”
   
Nagy broke a 1-1 tie when he scored at 12:21 of the second period, beating Dwayne Roloson with a short backhander. Kopitar made it 3-1 less than 3 ½ minutes later when he backhanded a pass into the net off Roloson’s skate. O’Sullivan, whose first goal tied the game in the opening period, added an insurance tally with 3:45 remaining.
   
“You never want to start the season like that, but I think we’ve really bounced back,” O’Sullivan said. “It shows we have a lot of character on our team. We’re believing in what the coaches are trying to get us to do. We’ve got good goaltending and we’ve got a real good chance to do well this year.”
   
The Oilers had lots of chances, but as has been the case for much of the season, they weren’t able to finish.
   
“We’ve got to elevate our game and start turning these games where we play pretty well and lose into wins,” coach Craig MacTavish said.

Material from wire services and team media were used in this report.
Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis