MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Canadiens have another chance at their first
winning streak in over two months.
Richard Zednik and Joe Juneau each had a goal and an assist Saturday to lead
Montreal to a 5-1 win over the Atlanta Thrashers.
Jan Bulis, Mike Ribeiro and Niklas Sundstrom also scored for the Canadiens,
who extended their unbeaten streak to three. Montreal, which hosts Washington
on Sunday, has earned a point in eight of 10 games (5-2-2-1), yet hasn't won
consecutive games in 12 tries since Oct. 20-23.
"It's obviously going to be nice the day that we get a couple of wins
together, but you have to also realize that the ties we got on the road were
pretty big," Juneau said. "It wasn't three wins, but it was points in every
Jose Theodore stopped 27 shots and came within 4:50 of a shutout before
allowing Chris Tamer's goal at 15:10 of the third with the Canadiens up 4-0.
"They had their scoring chances but they just couldn't bury them, and when
we had ours, we scored the big goals," Theodore said.
Atlanta has lost four straight (3-0-0-1) -- including a 2-1 home loss to
Montreal on Dec. 29 -- after winning three in a row.
"They played well," Thrashers captain Shawn McEachern said. "They had
their forecheck going pretty good and they were fast tonight."
Canadiens captain Saku Koivu returned to the lineup after missing a 1-1 tie
in Dallas on Wednesday.
Koivu, who assisted on Zednik's power-play goal, missed that game because of
a mild concussion when he was elbowed in the chin Monday by Atlanta's Marc
Savard. Savard was booed by the sellout crowd of 21,273 every time he touched
Montreal, which scored just six times on a 1-1-1-1 trip, has won three
straight at home, outscoring its opponents 14-6 over that span.
Michael Ryder assisted on both Montreal goals in the first as the Canadiens
jumped to a 2-0 lead after 8:35.
Bulis opened the scoring with his eighth goal at 1:44, and Zednik increased
the lead to two on his team-leading 13th goal just 16 seconds after Atlanta's
Ivan Majesky was sent off for interference.
Ribeiro completed a fine passing play to make it 3-0 midway through the
second. Left alone on the left side to take Richard Zednik's cross-ice pass,
defenseman Francis Bouillon set up Ribeiro, who put the puck into a wide open
net from the right edge of the crease at 9:20.
Sundstrom put the Canadiens up by four with 6.6 seconds remaining in the
period with his second goal in as many games. Joe Juneau passed the puck back
to Sundstrom, who scored from the slot for his fifth goal.
Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray shoved Atlanta's Benjamin Simon to the
ice after a stoppage 23 seconds into the third before fighting with Tamer, the
first of three separate bouts between the teams in the period.
Juneau scored a power-play goal with 24.8 remaining.