NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Montreal
(Thursday, January 15th)
Final Score: Montreal 3, Nashville 2
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Andrei Markov tallied a goal and an assist, and the Montreal Canadiens held on to defeat the Nashville Predators, 3-2, at Bell Centre.
Guillaume Latendresse and Andrei Kostitsyn also scored for Montreal, which has won five of six and eight of 10. Robert Lang recorded two assists, and Jaroslav Halak made 23 saves in his seventh consecutive start.
"It's good to bounce back after a loss to Boston," Lang said. "It's a good two points. I thought we played a team that's playing well now; a team which had won three of their last four. It's a good fast team, aggressive, but I think we played good. Sometimes it's not pretty, we had a lead and tended to play more cautious. We had chances to put them away, but their goalie played well and (Halak) played well. It was a good battle."
J.P. Dumont and Vernon Fiddler each had a goal for the Predators, who had won three of four coming into the game. Pekka Rinne made 17 stops in the loss.
"We knew they would come hard, they have a lot of skills and speed," Dumont said. "But a few bounces for them cost us the game. We tried to keep it tight and play a good, grinding game, and we played our game, but we came up short."
Montreal got on the board with 34 seconds left in the first. Josh Gorges carried the puck into the offensive zone and dropped it off for Latendresse, whose slapshot from the left circle got past Rinne.
Nashville tied the game in the second. Only seconds after an expired power play, Kevin Klein sent a shot in from the point and Dumont tipped the puck past Halak at 6:35.
"It was a huge goal for me," Dumont said. "I had some great chances in the past few games, but the puck wouldn't go in. That was a lucky tip that went in tonight."
The Canadiens went back in front shortly after, as Kostitsyn's wrister from the right circle beat Rinne to the stick side just over two minutes later.
Montreal took a two-goal lead 1:05 into the third after Markov's slapshot deflected off a defender and into the net. However, Nashville made it a one- goal game again at the 6:23 mark, as Fiddler stuffed in the rebound off Ville Koistinen's slapshot.
"Since the injury to Price, I had to step up and play my game," Halak said. "I got on a roll, we all got on a roll. Each two points are big for us. Every game is a different game; sometimes, luck is on our side, but I'm pretty confident right now. But we have to play good, too."
Nashville pulled Rinne late in an attempt to equalize the game, but Halak made a pad save in the final seconds to preserve the victory.
The next game at Bell Centre will be the NHL All-Star Game on January 24. Montreal will embark on a five-game road trip and will visit Ottawa, Atlanta, New Jersey, Tampa Bay and Florida...The Canadiens have won six of eight meetings with Nashville...Montreal improved to 15-4-4 at home, while the Predators dropped to 8-14-2 on the road.
01/15 22:58:30 ET