MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Canadiens are running out of time to put a
winning streak together before the upcoming holiday break.
Saku Koivu and Sheldon Souray had a goal and an assist apiece, and Jose
Theodore made 16 saves to lead Montreal to a 4-1 win Monday night over the
The Canadiens haven't earned consecutive wins in two months. They will have
a chance for their first winning streak since Oct. 20-23 on Tuesday in
"We've got a chance before the Christmas break to put two wins together,
which we haven't done in a really long time," Souray said. "It was a tough
win tonight and we got it, and now we can look forward to (Tuesday), and those
points are just as huge."
Pierre Dagenais and Niklas Sundstrom also scored for the Canadiens, who have
just four losses in 15 games (8-4-3).
"We're doing the little things a lot better now than we did at the
beginning of the year," Koivu said. "We're more consistent in our defensive
play and our goaltenders are playing great.
"And at the beginning we had problems with our penalty killing and our
power play, and those things are working for us right now, and that's a big
part of today's game."
Tomas Surovy scored for Pittsburgh, which was outshot 37-17. The Penguins,
last in the Eastern Conference, are winless in three (0-2-0-1).
"For a lot of games this year, we've really given up a lot of shots,"
Penguins center Brian Holzinger said. We're not happy with the amount of shots
that we gave up here tonight, obviously. When we're playing at our best, we're
playing good solid defense and limiting those shots and trying to capitalize on
the offensive opportunities we get."
Koivu set up Dagenais' power-play goal in the first period before giving
Montreal a 2-0 lead 8:47 into the second with his sixth goal of the season.
Souray, who assisted on Koivu's goal, got his team-leading 12th at 14:42,
just 1:26 after Surovy drew Pittsburgh within 2-1 with his fourth at 13:16.
Penguins coach Ed Olczyk was furious after Koivu's goal gave the Canadiens
their first two-goal lead.
Though his reason wasn't readily apparent, the first-year coach stood atop
his team's bench and screamed at referees Stephane Auger and Ian Walsh after
Koivu beat goalie Sebastien Caron from the left edge of the crease, shortly
after a faceoff in Pittsburgh's zone.
"It had nothing to do with what happened on that goal at all," Olczyk
When asked if the reason was an icing call that led to the faceoff, Olczyk
replied, "I'm not going to comment on that."
The Penguins were assessed a bench minor following the second period.
"I'm not really sure what was going on there," Holzinger said. "Obviously
starting the third period with a penalty certainly hurt us, but Eddie's a
competitive guy and he wants his team to win, and if he doesn't agree with
something, he's going to let people know."
Dagenais got his fourth goal 15:05 in when he took Koivu's pass and fired a
shot over Caron's left shoulder into the top of the net.
After Koivu's goal sparked Olczyk's ire, Surovy drew Pittsburgh to within
one when he completed a fine passing play. Rookie Ryan Malone made a back pass
to Holzinger in the slot. Holzinger fed Surovy, who fired a shot into the open
"We were able to really get a 2-on-0 in front of the net on Theodore, so
we'll take that any day," Holzinger said.
Souray, who leads NHL defensemen in goals, restored the Canadiens' two-goal
lead on a pass from Benoit Gratton.
Sundstrom scored into an empty net with 1:59 remaining.