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Markov's OT strike sends Habs past Blackhawks
Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrei Markov's second goal of the contest, coming at 1:28 of overtime, lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at Bell Centre.
Early in the extra session, Tomas Plekanec was sprung on a breakaway up the left wing, but lost control on a deke and Corey Crawford kicked the puck away. Montreal kept the puck in the zone and Plekanec missed another chance at the right post. On the following shift, Max Pacioretty corralled the disc and slipped it to the left point, where Markov blasted a shot high and inside the far post for the winner.
"It was gut-wrenching. I couldn't wait for it to be over," said Habs assistant coach J.J. Daigneault. "Still, this was probably our team's best 60-minute effort of the season."
Carey Price needed to make only 19 saves for the Canadiens, who have won three of their last five.
Marian Hossa tallied and Crawford contributed 36 stops for the Blackhawks, who tied a dubious season high by dropping their third straight game.
"There were stretches when we were getting favorable bounces," noted Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville. "We were playing the right way, but it just seems the last few games, that we played loose and with little support on puck pressure."
Montreal squandered three power-play opportunities, including back-to-back advantages in the first period, before snapping a scoreless deadlock as the clock ticked inside eight minutes left in the second.
Markov's shot from the bottom of the left circle managed to elude Crawford with 7:06 remaining thanks to a George Parros screen.
Reigning Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban was in the box late in the frame, when Crawford made a spectacular diving pad stop on Lars Eller in front to keep it a 1-0 contest.
"A few F-words," Eller revealed what he said after missing the chance. "Nine times out of 10, that's a goal."
Chicago tied the contest just before the midway point of the third, as Hossa charged the Habs net and tipped in a centering feed by Jonathan Toews.
Montreal improved to 10-3-0 vs. Chicago at home since the start of the 1995-96 campaign, and has won six in a row since January of 2003 ... Markov's last multi-goal effort occurred on Jan. 22 in a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers ... Chicago also lost three games in succession from Dec. 3-6.
01/11 22:45:57 ET
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