NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Montreal
(Tuesday, January 9th)
Final Score: Montreal 4, Atlanta 2
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Michael Ryder scored two goals and added an assist to give the Montreal Canadiens a 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers at the Bell Centre.
Tomas Plekanec and Guillaume Latendresse each scored a goal and Cristobal Huet made 28 saves for the Canadiens, who stopped a three-game slide. Saku Koivu notched his 500th career point with an assist.
"Our team was tested in the past four games," said Koivu. "We faced some adversity off the ice and a win like this meant alot."
Greg De Vries and Brad Larsen each scored a goal and Kari Lehtonen made 30 saves for the Thrashers, who have lost their last four games.
"We played very well in the first two periods," said Lehtonen. "But tonight I can't let in three goals on 10 shots in the third. I'm mad at myself about it. We need to start playing 60 minutes. But I don't know why we keep losing like this."
Montreal was trailing, 2-0, halfway through the game, but grabbed the lead with three unanswered goals.
Plekanec lit the lamp when he tipped in a pass from Mike Johnson to make it a 2-1 game with 4:58 left in the second.
Less than a minute into the third period, Latendresse, with Niclas Havelid draped all over him, snapped a shot over the right pad of Lehtonen to tie the game.
Montreal took its first lead when Ryder unleashed a shot from the high slot that went through a screen and beat Lehtonen between the pads with 10:20 to play.
Ryder gave his team some breathing room when he tapped in a pass from Koivu to make it a 4-2 game with 2:47 to play.
Despite being outshot by an 11-8 margin, Atlanta took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Glen Metropolit had the puck behind the net, skated to the left side and sent a turnaround backhand pass to the right side where De Vries one-timed it into the net at the 13:28 mark.
The Thrashers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second when a shot by Jean-Pierre Vigier was stopped by Huet, but Larsen was on the doorstep to bang in the rebound with 9:24 left in the frame.
The Thrashers travel to New Jersey for a game on Friday...Montreal heads to Philadelphia for a contest on Thursday...Montreal has won both matchups against Atlanta this season...Montreal went 1-for-5 on the power play while Atlanta went 0-for-6.
01/09 23:29:34 ET