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Canadiens 3, Kings 2 @NHLdotcom

MONTREAL (AP) - The injury-plagued Montreal Canadiens ended their longest losing streak of the season with production from two of their least-reliable offensive threats.

Pierre Dagenais scored twice and Jan Bulis netted a short-handed goal early in the third period as Montreal snapped a four-game losing skid with a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

Dagenais, who scored just once in 20 games, had his first two-goal game of the season. He opened the scoring at 19:00 and tied it at 2 at 7:47 of the second with his third goal in two games.

He'll have to wait to keep his hot streak going. The Canadiens, who played their first interconference game, are idle until next Saturday, when they host Anaheim.

"Sure, I'd play tomorrow, but I think it's good for the whole team that we'll get a bit of a break," Dagenais said. "It was a big team victory."

Bulis, who hadn't scored since Oct. 12, finished off a 2-on-1 with Steve Begin 4:35 into the third with Montreal defenseman Mathieu Dandenault serving a delay-of-game penalty.

"We got great efforts from a lot of guys," Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray said. "We're missing some of our key guys right now so we showed a lot of character and deserved to win. Now we've got a week off to regroup and get some of them back."

Los Angeles took a 2-1 lead early in the second on goals by Eric Belanger and Jeff Cowan 2:15 apart. The Kings, who lost 5-1 in Ottawa on Friday in a fight-filled game, extended their season-high losing streak to four.

"I thought we were pretty desperate, too," Los Angeles center Craig Conroy said. "They capitalized on their opportunity at the end."

The sellout crowd of 21,273 was on the case of Kings forward Sean Avery every time he set foot on the ice.

Avery, who was booed repeatedly and even had his name chanted, is extremely unpopular in Quebec for saying earlier this year that a hit by Phoenix defenseman Denis Gauthier on Kings center Jeremy Roenick "was typical of most French guys in our league with a visor on, running around and playing tough and not backing anything up."

"We expected that every time he was on the ice," Conroy said. "You know, I think he said something in haste and didn't think about it, and all of a sudden it spins out of control and by the time it gets here, it's huge. I don't think he meant to say it, he just came out, and if he could have taken it back, he would have."

Avery later apologized, but was then accused of racism by Edmonton's Georges Laraque, a Montreal native.

"We didn't want him to be a distraction, but we didn't want him coming in here and running around either, and I think we did both very well," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said.

Dandenault drew a loud cheer when he checked the Kings agitator along the boards.

"They pay for their tickets to come and see some good hockey and be entertained," Dandenault said. "If they want to get into it, then let them get into it, and I think Sean Avery loves that stuff, anyway. He's getting all the attention that he wants, but at the same time, being a French Canadian, with the comments that he made, if we were able to get a good, clean lick on him, we did, and a couple of times it happened."

Canadiens center Mike Ribeiro assisted on both goals by Dagenais, who also scored in Thursday's 3-2 overtime loss to Buffalo.

Dagenais, who had the only goal in the first shootout in Montreal on Nov. 22, got his third of the season. He beat former Canadiens backup Mathieu Garon with a well-targeted shot into the top left corner.

Belanger tied it 1:17 into the second with his ninth goal. Cowan gave the Kings a 2-1 lead with his fourth at 3:32. Cowan fired a quick shot past goalie Jose Theodore when he found the puck at his feet as it struck him in the slot.

The crowd buzzed when Avery joined a scrum as Belanger was given a boarding penalty at 6:10 after his check from behind sent Michael Ryder flying into the boards.

Dagenais gave fans reason to cheer moments later when he moved out of the corner along the goal line to take Ribeiro's return pass and beat Garon through the pads with a quick, sharp-angled shot.

Notes: Roenick was sidelined by the flu for a second straight night. ... The Kings are 0-3 on a four-game road trip that ends Tuesday in Toronto. ... The Canadiens are 83-27-20 against Los Angeles. ... Montreal has sold out each of its 15 home games. ... Canadiens captain Saku Koivu missed his second straight game because of a groin injury. C Radek Bonk was also out with a similar ailment. ... Begin has Montreal's two other short-handed goals.

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