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Lapierre, Begin score for Canadiens in 6-2 thrashing of Rangers

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MONTREAL - Fourth liners Maxim Lapierre and Steve Begin each had a goal and an assist and enforcer Georges Laraque got his first two points as a Canadien as Montreal downed the listless New York Rangers 6-2 on Thursday night.

Andrei Kostitsyn, Alex Tanguay, Robert Lang and Matt D'Agostini also scored for Montreal (15-6-4), which has won all three games to start its seven-game homestand and has just one regulation loss in its last eight games.

Markus Naslund and Nigel Dawes scored for the Rangers (18-9-2), who looked to have left their legs behind in a 3-2 shootout win 24 hours earlier over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Atlantic Division leaders have not won in regulation in five games, though they have three shootout victories in that span.

On the 99th anniversary of the team's founding, the Canadiens wore jerseys from the year of their first Stanley Cup in 1915-16, which were a darker red than today's sweaters, as well as a different style of gloves and solid blue pants. Goalie Carey Price wore brown-coloured pads and gloves.

They seemed to like the new apparel as they shot out to a 3-0 first-period lead, outshooting New York 15-7 in the period and 39-20 overall.

Kostitsyn scored a goal for a third game in a row at 9:52 when he raced to the net and tipped rookie D'Agostini's pass over Henrik Lundqvist.

Lapierre shot down the right side and slipped the puck to Begin for a tap-in goal 55 seconds later on which Laraque earned his first point.

Lundqvist complained to no avail that Tom Kostopoulos was interfering with his stick as Tanguay banked his ninth of the season in off him at 17:37 after some intense checking in the Ranger zone.

Laraque got his second point as he got the puck to Begin for a shot behind the Rangers defence and Lapierre followed in to score 3:35 into the second frame.

But then the Rangers struck back, as Naslund redirected Paul Mara's wrist shot from the point in off the post for his 10th of the season on a power play at 13:02 and Dawes tapped in Nikolai Zherdev's pass on a counterattack at 18:43.

Montreal restored a three-goal edge only 49 seconds into the third period as Lang tipped in an Andrei Markov pass at the side of the net. D'Agostini added another with 50 seconds left to play on a high shot from the slot.

Canadiens captain Saku Koivu dropped the gloves with Scott Gomez in the second period, but both were given double minors instead of fighting majors.

Notes: Rangers defenceman Wade Redden left the game early in the second period and did not return. There was no immediate word on his condition. ... Rangers stars of the past Andy Bathgate, Harry Howell, Rod Gilbert, Ron Greschner and Brad Park took part in a pre-game ceremony with a handful of Canadiens old-timers to honour the long rivalry between the two Original Six clubs. ... The Canadiens, founded Dec. 4, 1909, inaugurated Centennial Plaza outside the Bell Centre on Thursday afternoon. ... Roman Hamrlik played his 1,100th NHL game and Lang his 900th for Montreal ...Youngsters Guillaume Latendresse and Sergei Kostitsyn sat out a second straight game and Ryan O'Byrne a third for Montreal. ... Blair Betts and Dan Fritsche didn't dress for New York.

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