ANAHEIM, Calif. – Brian Gionta and Andrei Markov scored in the final 1:50 of regulation, and Tomas Plekanec added the shootout winner in the fourth round in the Montreal Canadiens' 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.
Plekanec also scored in the second period, helping the Habs overcome an early three-goal deficit. Markov's fourth of the season came with just 10.7 seconds left, after Anaheim's Corey Perry misfired at an empty net when the Canadiens pulled relief goalie Jaroslav Halak for a sixth attacker.
Anaheim center Saku Koivu played his first game against the team he spent his 13 previous NHL seasons with and captained for 10 of them.
Ryan Getzlaf set up first-period goals by Perry and Scott Niedermayer, and newly acquired Lubomir Visnovsky had a power-play goal for the Ducks, six points out of a playoff spot with 17 games left on the schedule. Anaheim has lost three straight since the Olympic break after going into it on a 14-6-0 roll.
Jonas Hiller made 40 saves, including five in overtime before Gionta and Plekanec put the puck past him during the shootout. Hiller made the save on Gionta's tying shot in the third round, but his momentum sent him sliding backward and the puck dropped over the goal line. Referee Brad Watson phoned the war room in Toronto to look at the replay, and it was declared a legal goal.
The victory vaulted the Canadiens over Boston into seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings, two points behind Philadelphia.
After getting shut out by former Anaheim goalie Ilya Bryzgalov for the second time this season Saturday night in Phoenix, the Ducks began a seven-game homestand by taking a 3-0 lead in the first period.
Perry opened the scoring at the 8:54 mark with his 23rd goal, beating Carey Price to the glove side with a 25-foot wrist shot along the ice.
Visnovsky capitalized on Anaheim's only power play of the game, stickhandling between Markov and Scott Gomez and beating Price to the stick side with a 15-foot wrist shot while rookie Tom Pyatt was off for hooking.
Niedermayer added his eighth goal 53 seconds before the first intermission, converting a short backhander after Getzlaf set him up in the slot.
Price faced 11 shots before Halak took over at the start of the second period. It was the first time the three-year veteran was benched during a game in his 36 starts this season. Halak stopped all 21 shots he faced, including six in overtime.
The Canadiens got on the board at 7:18 with Plekanec's 19th goal, which came on a semi-breakaway after he received a long lead pass from Josh Gorges and got a step on Getzlaf cruising down the slot.
The Canadiens still haven't chosen anyone to replace Koivu as the team's official captain — the first season in which no Montreal player has worn the "C" on his jersey. They have two alternate captains — Markov and Gionta. … Gionta reached the 20-goal mark for the sixth time. He had a career-high 48 for New Jersey in 2005-06.
Powered by WordPress.com VIP