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Canes' Malik snips Habs' hot string in OT

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Carolina coach Paul Maurice has been telling his players for the last month to charge the net and goals will come.

The advice paid off Monday night as defenseman Marek Malik scored 55 seconds into overtime and the Hurricanes snapped the Montreal Canadiens' season-best five-game unbeaten streak with a 3-2 victory.

Malik scored his third goal of the season after a wild scramble in front of the Montreal net in which Gary Roberts hit the post and Jeff O'Neill banged at the puck in the crease. It then bounced right out to Malik and he beat a scrambling Jose Theodore with a high slap shot.

"I had pretty good position for the shot," said Malik, who crept into the slot and let his shot rip from 30 feet. "I tried to shoot it on the short side. That was the open spot. I tried it and hit it good."

The Hurricanes won their second in a row following a season-worst five-game losing streak and improved to 2-0-12 in their last 14 overtime games. Meanwhile, Montreal lost its NHL-high 17th one-goal game.

"We're sort of used to this," Montreal coach Alain Vigneault said of another close loss. "We've been able to rebound, so I don't think it's going to be any different after tonight."

Montreal's Sergei Zholtok scored with 5:26 left in regulation to tie the game. Paul Coffey and Paul Ranheim scored to give Carolina a 2-1 lead before Zholtok's 14th goal.

"It was a kick in the teeth to lose the lead late," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said.

Ranheim scored 3 1/2 minutes after the Canadiens tied it midway through the second period. Ranheim broke in alone on Theodore and slipped a backhander past him on a nifty in-close move.

Ranheim's goal was his eighth of the season. The third-line left wing had nine goals all of last season.

Rod Brind'Amour made his Carolina debut one day after being traded from the Philadelphia Flyers for Keith Primeau. He had a rough opening two periods, picking up a pair of high-sticking penalties. His second one led to Trevor Linden's game-tying goal midway through the second period.

Brind'Amour also was called for an elbowing penalty midway through the third, but Carolina was able to kill that one and two others in the final period before Zholtok's goal tied it late.

"We're going to have to get another penalty killer," Maurice joked when asked about Brind'Amour's first game.

"We seemed to have a hard time moving and passing the puck," added Maurice. "They had it going and they played a real good defensive game. We're very happy with the two points."

Coffey made a nice read to put Carolina up 1-0, rushing in from the point on the power play and one-timing it past Theodore after taking a nice cross-ice feed from Andrei Kovalenko.

Coffey's fifth goal of the season was the 22nd by the Carolina defensive corps. The group had an NHL-low 15 goals last season.

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