NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Montreal
(Saturday, January 14th)
Final Score: Montreal 6, San Jose 2
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Andrei Markov scored twice and added two assists, as the Montreal Canadiens downed the San Jose Sharks, 6-2, at the Bell Centre on the same day their head coach was fired.
Earlier in the day, Montreal announced it had relieved head coach Claude Julien of his coaching duties with general manager Bob Gainey replacing him on an interim basis.
The Canadiens responded as the win was just Montreal's second in its last seven games. The Canadiens netted all of their goals on special teams with the club scoring four power-play tallies and two short-handed goals.
Mark Streit, Mike Ribeiro and Jan Bulis each had a goal and an assist in the win. Bulis now has three goals and six assists in his last six games.
"It's been a tough day for all of us," said Montreal captain Saku Koivu. "Hopefully we can benefit from this type of game and turn things around."
Grant Stevenson and Jonathan Cheechoo scored for the Sharks, who had their five-game winning streak halted. Evgeni Nabokov had a rough day in net as he allowed six goals on 20 shots faced through two periods.
Vesa Toskala handled the goaltending duties in the third, stopping six shots.
San Jose held a 1-0 edge after the first frame on Stevenson's goal with 2:27 left before Montreal exploded for six goals in the middle stanza.
The Canadiens tied the contest with a shorthanded tally 1:35 into the second. With Koivu off for hooking, Markov received a pass at the left point and he blasted a shot that beat Nabokov glove side.
Markov struck again at the 7:15 mark of the second on the power play. Alexei Kovalev generated the scoring chance as he carried into the zone before ripping a shot high over the net. However, the disc skipped right to Markov in the left circle and the defenseman lit the lamp for his second goal.
"Markov raised his game to the level I thought he would," said Gainey.
Less then two minutes later, Montreal netted its second shorthanded goal as Christopher Higgins carried the puck out of his own zone, got behind the defense, and poked a shot past Nabokov's glove side for a 3-1 edge.
Montreal found itself with a 5-on-3 power play late in the period and the Canadiens capitalized twice. Streit's one-timer gave the defenseman his first goal of the year with 2:47 remaining, and 1:12 later, Ribeiro redirected a shot from in front for a 5-1 Montreal lead.
Just 13 seconds later, San Jose's Scott Thornton took a boarding penalty, leading to Montreal's fourth power-play goal of the game. This one came off the stick of Bulis, who picked up his eighth goal of the season with 26 seconds left in the second.
Cheechoo scored on the power play with 3:41 left in the contest to cap the scoring as the forward netted his 25th tally of the season.
"They took advantage of every silly mistake we made," said San Jose coach Ron Wilson. "On the first power play we gave up a shorthand goal and we never worked hard enough to deserve anything the rest of the period. We got what we deserved in the second."
Montreal also relieved assistant coach Rick Green of his duties and named former team captain Guy Carbonneau his replacement. Carbonneau was an assistant with Montreal from 2000-02...The last time Montreal scored six goals in a period was in 1992 against the Quebec Nordiques...The Canadiens netted two shorthanded goals for the first time since March 14, 2001 against Carolina...The four power-play goals scored by Montreal in the second frame were the most the Canadiens have scored in a period since tallying three against Pittsburgh on January 10, 2004...Kovalev finished with two assists...Cheechoo extended his point-scoring streak to eight games (nine goals, five assists)...Montreal was 4-of-5 on the power play, while the Sharks converted on just 1-of-7 tries with the extra skater.
01/14 22:23:30 ET