NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Montreal
(Thursday, December 18th)
Final Score: Montreal 5, Nashville 4 (OT)
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Sheldon Souray beat Tomas Vokoun on a 2-on-1 just 35 seconds into overtime to register his first career hat trick and lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-4 win over the Nashville Predators at Bell Centre.
But the win could be very costly, as Jose Theodore left the contest with a potentially serious collarbone injury. Mathieu Garon stopped 16-of-18 shots in relief of the 2002 Hart and Vezina Trophy winner, who played the entire first period of the game, allowing two goals on just four shots.
Theodore suffered the injury during pregame warmups when he absorbed a shot from Pierre Dagenais. But this night belonged to Souray and the Montreal power play. Souray registered a career-high four points as the Canadiens' power play connected on 4-of-5 chances.
Saku Koivu and Richard Zednik each notched a goal and an assist and Mike Ribeiro assisted on four goals for Montreal, which has recorded at least a point in its last three (2-0-1).
Jason York, Scott Walker, Jeremy Stevenson and Rem Murray tallied for the Predators, who haven't won in five games (0-2-1-2). Vokoun stopped 31 shots in the loss.
Souray's game-winner came on a beautiful cross-ice feed from Jan Bulis, who hit the quick-moving defenseman in stride just in front of the crease on the left wing. Souray went high over the sprawling netminder for the clincher.
Nashville jumped out to an early lead just 1:34 into the game on York's first goal of the year, but the Canadiens tied things up less than six minutes later on a Souray power-play goal.
The Predators responded later in the stanza, though, scoring on a 3-on-2 break. David Legwand centered the play, dishing off to Andrew Hutchinson on the left side. Hutchinson immediately fed the puck back to Legwand, who touch- passed it to Walker streaking down the right side. Walker deked Theodore and beat him high to the short side to put his team back in front.
Souray's second goal came 5:18 into the second period on the power play, when he accepted a cross-ice pass on the left side from Ribeiro and beat Vokoun glove-side.
Nearly seven minutes later, Stevenson went into the left corner with a defenseman, fighting for the puck, which wound up getting sent out to Dan Hamhuis at the point. Hamhuis snapped a shot on net which Stevenson, charging out of the corner, redirected into the net.
Zednik knotted things at 3-3 on the power play just 1:33 into the third, when he accepted a pass from Ribeiro on the doorstep and pounded the puck past Vokoun stick-side.
But Nashville recaptured the lead just over a minute later, when Murray came cruising in above the right faceoff circle and let a shot go. The puck deflected off the defenseman face-guarding Murray and fluttered in over Garon's shoulder for the goal.
With just over five minutes to play in regulation, Koivu again tied the game on the power play, taking a cross-ice pass from Ribeiro at the point and ripping it past Vokoun.
Montreal is 6-2-3 in its last 11 games...Nashville hasn't won since a club- record six-game winning streak...The Canadiens are 8-7-3 on home ice...Montreal has won four of the last five meetings with Nashville...The Predators were 0-for-5 on the power play...Souray leads NHL defensemen with 11 goals.
12/18 22:49:01 ET