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Canadiens halt three-game losing steak with 5-2 win over Flyers

NHL.com @NHL

MONTREAL - Steve Begin and Sergei Kostitsyn each had a goal and an assist as the Montreal Canadiens stopped a three-game losing streak and cooled off the Philadelphia Flyers with a 5-2 NHL victory on Thursday night.

Matt D'Agostini and Guillaume Latendresse also scored and Alex Kovalev picked up his 900th career point with a his second goal in as many games for Montreal (17-9-5).

Aaron Asham had a goal and an assist and Braydon Coburn also scored for the Flyers (17-8-6), who ended a five-game winning run and lost in regulation time for only the second time in their past 18 games.

The Canadiens, already missing captain Saku Koivu and winger Christopher Higgins to injuries, may have lost another as winger Andrei Kostitsyn did not come out for the third period with what looked to be a right leg problem after he was sandwiched by two players in the second.

Goaltender Martin Biron, who usually has his best games against Montreal, stayed home with a flu and Antero Niittymaki, now 1-8-0 in his career against the Canadiens, started a second straight game for the Flyers.

It didn't get better in this one as Montreal got three goals past him in the first period.

D'Agostini was sent in alone by Max Lapierre six minutes into the game to score his fifth goal in nine games since he was called up from AHL Hamilton.

Sergei Kostitsyn got his first goal in 17 games when his point shot on a power play went in at 10:33 and Begin deflected a Tom Kostopoulos shot inside the near post at 15:25.

Only 32 second later, Asham one-timed a Scottie Upshall feed into an open side from the slot past Jaroslav Halak, who started a fifth game in place of the injured Carey Price.

Kovalev, who ended a 19-game goal-less drought on Tuesday, was behind the defence to take a stretch pass from Begin and score 6:20 into the second frame.

Coburn threw the puck toward the net from the point and saw it go in off Francis Bouillon's hand 13:28 into the third. Latendresse added a goal on a power play with 1:03 left to play.

Montreal had defenceman Mike Komisarek back from missing 16 games with a shoulder injury and he looked his old self, blocking shots and playing a physical game beside partner Andrei Markov.

Notes: With Komisarek's return, Ryan O'Byrne sat out for Montreal. Georges Laraque also returned to the lineup after four games to replace rookie Ben Maxwell. . . . Lasse Kukkonen sat out a third game in a row for the Flyers. . . . Mike Richards' eight-game points streak ended. . . . Josh Gorges was the latest to be given a shot at playing the right point on the power play in his 100th game for Montreal. . . The game was delayed 10 minutes at 15:14 of the third when a pane of protective glass behind the Montreal net was damaged by an Asham shot.

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