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Markov scores in final minute as Canadiens edge Kings 4-3

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MONTREAL - Christopher Higgins tied it with under two minutes to play and Andrei Markov scored the power-play winner at 19:37 of the third to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn also scored for the Canadiens (28-15-6) to halt a season-high four game losing streak in front of a sellout crowd of 21,273 at the Bell Centre.

Michal Handzus, Dustin Brown and Jarret Stoll also scored while Kyle Calder added two assists for the Kings (20-21-7), who saw their three-game win streak come to an end.

Trailing 3-2 late in the third, Higgins fought off Drew Doughty for a loose puck in the Kings' end and flipped a shot over Jonathan Quick's right shoulder for his sixth of the season at 18:07 of the third.

The Canadiens went on the power play at 19:29 when Calder took his second straight cross-checking penalty, and it didn't take them long to convert when Markov's point shot trickled under Quick and over the goal line for his eighth of the year to make it 4-3 Montreal.

Kings defenceman Denis Gauthier may be facing disciplinary action after he received a charging major and game misconduct at 3:50 of the second period for leaving his feet and elbowing Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges in the head.

Gorges looked dazed when he tried to get up and had blood trickling from his nose as he was helped to the Canadiens room. He returned by the end of the second and had a turnover that led to the Kings third goal, but he didn't come out for the third period.

Brown's line with Calder and Stoll continued to click, as Brown now has six goals and three assists over a five-game scoring streak, while his linemate Calder has two goals and five assists over the same span. Stoll centres the line and has three goals and three assists in his last four games.

Carey Price made 29 saves to halt a three-start losing streak for the Canadiens. It was the first time in that span he limited the opposition to three goals and he made a number of key saves, including a short-handed breakaway by Alexander Frolov with under four minutes to play to maintain the one-goal deficit.

With the game tied 2-2 late in the second a Gorges turnover led directly to a go-ahead goal for L.A., with Calder stealing the puck and setting up Stoll for his 12th of the year at 18:16 of the second.

Handzus gave the Kings the lead at 4:57 of the first with his eighth of the season and first in 19 games, but Plekanec tied it up at 11:41 on a rebound for his 10th of the season and his first point in nine games.

Andrei Kostitsyn's team-leading 17th of the year came only three seconds into a 5-on-3 advantage following the Gauthier major penalty. Saku Koivu won the ensuing draw and Kostitsyn snapped it home at 3:53 of the second, making it 2-1 Montreal.

The Kings tied it at 13:30 after a poor clearing attempt by Roman Hamrlik eventually wound up on the stick of Calder, who set up Brown with an open net for his 20th of the season.

NOTES: Canadiens LW Christopher Higgins began the season as the team's assistant captain, but the "A" is now being worn by D Mike Komisarek. ...canadiens winger Max Pacioretty had his first NHL fight when he squared off with Kings winger Wayne Simmonds in the first period. ...Kings assistant coach and McGill alumnus Jamie Kompon was to drop the ceremonial first puck at Saturday night's McGill men's hockey game against UQTR. The McGill Redmen celebrated their 132nd birthday Saturday

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