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NHL Game Summary - Chicago at Montreal

(Tuesday, January 8th)

Final Score: Montreal 4, Chicago 3 (OT)

Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Guillaume Latendresse scored 3:18 into overtime to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in a spirited contest from the Bell Centre.

Saku Koivu, Andrei Markov and Patrice Brisebois all scored for Montreal, which has won two of its last three and earned at least a point for the sixth straight game (4-0-2). Cristobal Huet turned aside 25 shots in the win.

Jack Skille, Robert Lang and Kris Versteeg scored for the Blackhawks, who are winless in their last six games (0-4-2) following a four-game win streak in late December. Patrick Lalime allowed four goals on 38 shots in the loss.

"It's not what we wanted -- we wanted a win," said Chicago's Duncan Keith. "It's frustrating, but with a young team like ours, at least we got a point after four straight (regulation) losses."

Following a scoreless third period, the teams went into overtime tied at 3-3. Maxim Lapierre skated with the puck from his own zone along the left half- wall and through the neutral zone, then cut across the slot toward the right circle. Lapierre then slid a pass to the left post for a backdoor redirection.

"It was important for us to get the two points," said Latendresse, a Montreal native who scored his first career overtime goal. "Lapierre is my best friend on the team, and we got the chance to score (together) in overtime. I went to the net and I thought he was going to shoot, but he made a real nice pass."

Montreal will now embark on a four-game road trip that begins in Boston on Thursday.

Koivu opened the scoring 4:22 after the opening faceoff. Guillaume Latendresse gained control of a dump-in at the base of the left half-wall and sent a centering pass into the goal mouth, where Koivu made a quick deke move and beat Lalime with a backhander.

After Skille's goal less than two minutes later tied the score, the Habs had a chance to go ahead when Mark Streit was awarded a short-handed penalty shot. Although Streit was unsuccessful, Brisebois' power-play marker with 2:47 to play in the first made it 2-1.

Montreal passed the puck around the perimeter of its offensive zone following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Martin Havlat. Koivu dealt a soft pass across to Brisebois, whose one-timer from the centerpoint appeared to deflect off Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp before it lit the lamp.

But Chicago came out firing early in the second stanza and scored twice within an 18-second span to grab a 3-2 edge.

First, at the 2:27 mark, Lang's 14th goal of the season tied it up. Chicago was skating on the power play -- courtesy of a hooking call on Koivu just 33 seconds into the period -- and Lang held control atop the left circle. He looked for an open teammate but finally decided to shoot and beat Huet with a laser wrist shot.

Moments later, the second goal of Versteeg's career pushed the visitors ahead. After a scramble in front, the puck was poked loose and Yanic Perreault fired a turnaround shot from the slot. Huet made the save, but the puck was loose inside the crease and the whistle did not blow as Versteeg poked it home.

The Habs notched their second power-play goal of the night at the 8:04 mark of the second to create a 3-3 deadlock. Alex Kovalev's strong effort along the high right half-wall kept the puck inside the zone during 5-on-4 action and he quickly fed across the high slot for Markov, whose slap shot from above the left circle sailed into the back of the cage.

"They have a lot of skill up front, and sometimes we may have sat back a bit," added Keith.

Game Notes

Before the game, there was a ceremony to honor the storied rivalry between these two Original Six franchises, which includes 82 seasons worth of battles. Former Montreal great Guy Lafleur as well as Chicago legends Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita were included in the ceremony among others... This marked Chicago's first trip to Montreal since February 1, 2004...The Hawks fell to 7-9-3 on the road this season...The Canadiens finished 2-for-3 on the power play, while the visitors went 1-for-4 with the extra skater...Attendance was 21,273.

01/08 23:15:15 ET

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