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Canadiens sneak past Predators on Subban's OT goal

by Sean Farrell /

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens will have a week to savor consecutive wins against two of the top teams in the NHL.

P.K. Subban scored a power-play goal with 52 seconds left in overtime to give Montreal a 2-1 win against the Nashville Predators at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Subban, who assisted on Alex Galchenyuk's power-play goal at 2:02 of the third period, took a pass from Andrei Markov and drove a one-timer past Carter Hutton for his 11th goal, surpassing his total from 2013-14.

"P.K. took charge tonight," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "He was very involved in the game, like the last one; I thought he was really good again tonight. He was an excellent leader for our team. He took charge and that's what you ask of your best players."

Goalie Carey Price made 36 saves in his return after missing the Canadiens' 6-4 win against the New York Islanders on Saturday because of an upper-body injury.

"He gave us a chance to win," Therrien said. "He kept us in the game, and he's a world-class player, so if it was not the quality of goaltending of Carey Price it probably would have ended up to be a different result. But he kept us in the game, gave us a chance to regroup and find our game, and [we] ended up winning the hockey game."

Galchenyuk assisted on Subban's goal, and Montreal (29-13-3) went 2-for-3 on the power play.

Nashville center Craig Smith was called for each of the two penalties that preceded the Canadiens' goals, including a call for tripping Montreal center Lars Eller 2:34 into overtime.

"I don't think the last penalty was a penalty at all," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "Our guy had a heavy stick on their stick; there's no tripping."

Mike Ribeiro scored his 10th goal, and Hutton made 25 saves in his third straight start for Nashville (30-10-5) since Pekka Rinne was injured a week ago in a 5-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks.

Hutton was pulled at 12:32 of the first period in his start Saturday after allowing three goals on four shots in a 5-2 loss at the Detroit Red Wings.

The Predators, who lead the Central Division with 65 points, lost consecutive games for the first time this season. They are 13-1-0 following a loss.

"I thought we had a really good effort," Nashville captain Shea Weber said. "We came in here and we put a lot of pucks on them. We did some good things, and that's the way it goes sometimes. You can't win 'em all, obviously. Price played well and they scored when it mattered on the power play, so it is what it is now."

Galchenyuk made it 1-1 with his 12th goal. Subban held back on his shot from the point and directed a slap-pass to the slot for Galchenyuk, who tipped the puck between Hutton's pads to score for a second straight game following a nine-game goal drought.

"I just saw him pop out and I shot for his stick," Subban said.

Ribeiro scored at 12:10 of the second when he deflected Seth Jones' slap shot from the right point past Price to give Nashville a 1-0 lead.

The Predators had outshot the Canadiens 26-6 at that point.

"We saw that; obviously we weren't pleased with it," Price said.

Nashville rookie Filip Forsberg assisted on Ribeiro's goal for his 40th point.

The Canadiens went 22:15 without a shot between their fourth of the first period and their first of nine shots in the second.

There was a lengthy delay to replace a broken pane of glass behind the Montreal net at 3:59 of the third.

Ribeiro shot through the crease on a wraparound attempt with 1:08 left in the third. Canadiens forward Brandon Prust recovered the puck and took it down the right side on an odd-man rush but his shot was stopped by Hutton.

"Our guys battled their hearts out," Laviolette said. "It's disappointing to lose a game that way."

Price will represent Montreal at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday in Columbus (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

"It's going to be fun," Price said. "Obviously going to a golf course in Florida would be nice, but at the same time it's a privilege to go to the All-Star Game, it's a privilege to represent your team and I'm happy to go."

Forsberg and Weber will represent the Predators along with Laviolette, assistant coaches Phil Housley and Kevin McCarthy, and goaltending coach Ben Vanderklok. Rinne was named to the All-Star Game but he will miss 3-5 weeks with a sprained knee.

The Canadiens host the Dallas Stars on Jan. 27, when Nashville is at home to play the Colorado Avalanche.

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