NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Montreal
(Tuesday, March 29th)
Final Score: Montreal 3, Atlanta 1
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Montreal finally found its offense and avoided a dubious distinction in the process with a 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers at Bell Centre.
The Canadiens entered Tuesday with three straight shutout losses, the first time that had ever happened in team history.
Roman Hamrlik and Mathieu Darche scored 11 seconds apart in the first period for Montreal, which is sixth in the Eastern Conference standings. Carey Price made 27 saves in the win.
"It was a step in the right direction, but by no means was it a perfect game for us," said Montreal captain Brian Gionta.
Ondrej Pavelec stopped 28 shots for the Thrashers, who remain nine points behind eighth-place Buffalo with six games to play.
The last time Montreal was blanked in four straight games was February 14-26, 1928. One of those contests included a scoreless tie.
Hamrlik snapped the drought on a goalmouth scramble at 12:56 of the opening frame. It was the first goal scored by the Habs since Tom Pyatt tallied with 6:05 left in the third period of an 8-1 win over Minnesota on March 20.
It didn't take Montreal long to light the lamp again as Darche converted Scott Gomez's pass from behind the net.
"After you have a goal scored against you, if you get the puck hold on to it for a while to change the momentum," said Atlanta head coach Craig Ramsay.
Nik Antropov put Atlanta on the board 8:35 into the third period, but Andrei Kostitsyn added an empty-net marker with 1:20 left.
Atlanta began a five-game road trip...Montreal forward Jeff Halpern picked up his 200th career assist...Thrashers defenseman Mark Stuart played in his 300th NHL game.
03/29 22:55:32 ET