Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrei Markov's second goal of the contest,
coming at 1:28 of overtime, lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-1 victory
over the Chicago Blackhawks at Bell Centre.
Early in the extra session, Tomas Plekanec was sprung on a breakaway up the
left wing, but lost control on a deke and Corey Crawford kicked the puck away.
Montreal kept the puck in the zone and Plekanec missed another chance at the
right post. On the following shift, Max Pacioretty corralled the disc and
slipped it to the left point, where Markov blasted a shot high and inside the
far post for the winner.
"It was gut-wrenching. I couldn't wait for it to be over," said Habs assistant
coach J.J. Daigneault. "Still, this was probably our team's best 60-minute
effort of the season."
Carey Price needed to make only 19 saves for the Canadiens, who have won three
of their last five.
Marian Hossa tallied and Crawford contributed 36 stops for the Blackhawks,
who tied a dubious season high by dropping their third straight game.
"There were stretches when we were getting favorable bounces," noted Chicago
head coach Joel Quenneville. "We were playing the right way, but it just seems
the last few games, that we played loose and with little support on puck
Montreal squandered three power-play opportunities, including back-to-back
advantages in the first period, before snapping a scoreless deadlock as the
clock ticked inside eight minutes left in the second.
Markov's shot from the bottom of the left circle managed to elude Crawford
with 7:06 remaining thanks to a George Parros screen.
Reigning Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban was in the box late in the frame,
when Crawford made a spectacular diving pad stop on Lars Eller in front to
keep it a 1-0 contest.
"A few F-words," Eller revealed what he said after missing the chance. "Nine
times out of 10, that's a goal."
Chicago tied the contest just before the midway point of the third, as Hossa
charged the Habs net and tipped in a centering feed by Jonathan Toews.
Montreal improved to 10-3-0 vs. Chicago at home since the start of the 1995-96
campaign, and has won six in a row since January of 2003 ... Markov's last
multi-goal effort occurred on Jan. 22 in a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers
... Chicago also lost three games in succession from Dec. 3-6.
The Sports Network