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Cole leads Canadiens past Canucks

Mar 11, 2012 - 7:19 AM
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Erik Cole scored two goals. including the go- ahead tally early in the third period as the Montreal Canadiens topped the Vancouver Canucks, 4-1, on Saturday at Rogers Arena.

Blake Geoffrion and P.K. Subban scored while Max Pacioretty added two assists and Carey Price made 32 saves for the Canadiens, who have won three of their last five contests.

Ryan Kesler netted the lone goal for the Canucks, who have dropped three of their last four games. Roberto Luongo was touched for all four goals on 35 shots in defeat.

The Canucks remain two points back of St. Louis, who topped Columbus, 4-1, earlier on Saturday, for the top spot in the overall NHL standings.

After a scoreless first stanza, the Canucks opened the scoring at 11:58 of the second frame when Booth raced through the neutral zone and dished to Kesler trailing the play. Kesler took a quick look and fired a wrister past Price from the right circle for the 1-0 edge.

Montreal, though, responded with four unanswered goals to run away with the win.

The Canadiens tied the game at 18:43 of the second period after Louis LeBlanc tracked down the puck on the right wing wall following a dump-in. LeBlanc kicked the puck ahead out of his skates and sent it in front to Geoffrion, who tapped it through the five-hole of Luongo.

Cole put the Canadiens on top for good just 13 seconds into the third period after he took a pass from Pacioretty and gained the blue line on the right wing. Cole flipped a wrist shot on net that was stopped by Luongo, but he tracked down his own rebound and lifted a backhander over the shoulder of the Canucks netminder.

Montreal made it 3-1 at 5:20 of the third frame with a 5-on-3 power-play goal. Subban took a pass at the left point from Andrei Markov and blasted a slap shot through traffic and past Luongo.

Cole notched his second goal of the game at 11:02 of the third after he poked the puck out to center ice and went in on a 2-on-1 with Tomas Plekanec. Cole glided to the right circle and fired a low hard wrist shot that was initially stopped by Luongo, but Cole kept after it and poked the rebound home to cap the scoring.

Game Notes

Vancouver dropped to 32-4-2 when Kesler records at least a point and 16-2-2 when he scores a goal this season...Markov played in his first game in over a year. Markov has not played since November 13, 2011 due to various knee surgeries...With his goal, Geoffrion became the fourth generation of his family to score for the Montreal Canadiens...Montreal and Vancouver split a sports double-header between the cities on Saturday as the MLS's Vancouver Whitecaps posted a 2-0 win over the Montreal Impact at BC Place earlier in the day...The Canadiens went 1-for-3 with the man advantage, while the Canucks failed to score with two power-play chances.