for this game

Markov, Canadiens use power play to rally past Coyotes

Mar 7, 2008 - 6:39 AM
GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Coming from Montreal, it's easy for players to get distracted by the weather in balmy Phoenix. But after a slow start, the Canadiens realized they were in town for business.

All-Star defenseman Andrei Markov snapped a tie midway through the third period with a power-play goal and added an assist as the Canadiens skated to a 4-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday.

Tomas Plekanec, captain Saku Koivu and Sergei Kostitsyn also scored and Alexei Kovalev collected three assists for the Canadiens, who rallied from a 2-1 deficit with consecutive man-advantage goals in the third.

"We didn't play well," Plekanec said. "We can't play that way the next game, and we know that. I don't know how to explain the slow start tonight. Maybe we were on the golf courses and by the pool a little too much."

Rookie Carey Price stopped 37 shots to help Montreal (37-22-9) move into sole possession of first place in the Northeast Division. The Canadiens climbed two points in front of the Ottawa Senators (37-25-7), who suffered a 2-0 loss to Los Angeles.

"We stole one tonight," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "It was highway robbery. Once in a while, you play bad and you still win games. Tonight, we needed a big performance from Carey, and we got it."

Price bounced back after being in net for a 6-4 loss to San Jose on Monday, his worst start since taking over the team's full-time goaltending duties following the trade of Cristobal Huet on February 26.

"I knew I had to bounce back after last game," Price said. "During the last game, I didn't feel that bad and I knew I could come back and play well."

Montreal also pulled even in points with Pittsburgh (38-24-7) for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins dropped a 5-2 decision to the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

Koivu tied the game at 6:38 of the third during a power play, and Markov netted the go-ahead goal at 10:07. Kostitsyn added an insurance tally with 1:41 remaining as Montreal remained unbeaten in its last nine meetings with Phoenix.

Defenseman Zbynek Michalek and captain Shane Doan scored and rookie Peter Mueller recorded a pair of assists for the Coyotes (34-29-5), who remained three points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Phoenix outshot Montreal, 39-20, but has not beaten the Canadiens since December 9, 1998.

Koivu tied the game at 2-2 when he tapped in a loose puck that Coyotes defenseman Keith Ballard failed to clear from in front.

Just 3:29 later, Markov took a cross-ice pass from Kovalev and deftly tapped a shot past goaltender Mikael Tellqvist, who was screened when Michalek fell down in the crease.

"There is not a lot of room in the attacking zone, and you have to have not just Markov, but all the defensemen creating odd-man rushes," Carbonneau said. "If they don't get involved, it is 3-on-5 and the scoring chance is minimal. We are trying to do it more and not be stupid, and Markov knows when to do it."

Kostitsyn scored on a breakaway to provide the final margin.

Phoenix took a short-lived 2-1 lead when Michalek scored his fourth goal of the season at 3:54 of the third. However, the Coyotes committed three straight penalties that led to the two power-play tallies.

Plekanec, who appeared to suffer an undisclosed injury later in the game, opened the scoring at 6:03 of the second period with his 27th goal. Doan tied it with his 22nd exactly four minutes later.

"A tie game at home, then you get the lead, you expect to win that game," Doan said. "To give up the lead in the third period when we worked to get it is disappointing, frustrating."

Tellqvist stopped 16 shots in the first meeting between the clubs since December 13, 2005.

Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky was unhappy with his team's play in the third as it committed three penalties in less than four minutes to set up the Canadiens' comeback.

"We got a little bit undisciplined," Gretzky said. "We took an unnecessary hooking penalty, then it was 2-2. Then before you know it, there is a 5-on-3 and (the score) is 3-2. We shot ourselves in the foot tonight, and that loss really hurts."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 1 3 4
    PHOENIX 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 27 (ANDREI MARKOV, ALEXEI KOVALEV) 6:03
    PHO - (PP) SHANE DOAN 22 (ED JOVANOVSKI, PETER MUELLER)
    10:03
    3RD PRD: PHO - ZBYNEK MICHALEK 4 (PETER MUELLER) 3:54
    MON - (PP) SAKU KOIVU 13

    Mar 6 11:40 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    PHOENIX 2
    3RD PRD: MON - SERGEI KOSTITSYN 9 (CHRIS HIGGINS, JOSH GORGES) 18:19

    Canadiens 4, Coyotes 2  3rd - 1:41Mar 6 11:35 PM
  • 10
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    RUWTbot Took away 15 roots

    Canadiens 4, Coyotes 2  3rd - 1:41Mar 6 11:35 PM
  • 25
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Canadiens 3, Coyotes 2  3rd - 2:15Mar 6 11:32 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    PHOENIX 2
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI MARKOV 14 (UNASSISTED) 10:10

    Canadiens 3, Coyotes 2  3rd - 9:50Mar 6 11:19 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    PHOENIX 2
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) SAKU KOIVU 13 (UNASSISTED) 6:38

    Canadiens 2, Coyotes 2  3rd - 13:22Mar 6 11:12 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    PHOENIX 2
    3RD PRD: PHO - ZBYNEK MICHALEK 4 (UNASSISTED) 3:54

    Canadiens 1, Coyotes 2  3rd - 16:06Mar 6 11:04 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 1 1
    PHOENIX 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 27 (ANDREI MARKOV, ALEXEI KOVALEV) 6:03
    PHO - (PP) SHANE DOAN 22 (ED JOVANOVSKI, PETER MUELLER)
    10:03
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MO

    Mar 6 10:38 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    PHOENIX 1
    2ND PRD: PHO - (PP) SHANE DOAN 22 (ED JOVANOVSKI, PETER MUELLER) 10:03

    Canadiens 1, Coyotes 1  2nd - 9:57Mar 6 10:20 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    PHOENIX 0
    2ND PRD: MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 27 (ANDREI MARKOV, ALEXEI KOVALEV) 6:03

    Canadiens 1, Coyotes 0  2nd - 13:57Mar 6 10:13 PM
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    droozilla Added 5 roots

    Canadiens 0, Coyotes 0  2nd - 19:55Mar 6 10:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 0
    PHOENIX 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 5 5
    PHO 14 14
    GOALIES: MON - CAREY PRICE
    PHO - MIKAEL TELLQVIST

    Mar 6 9:42 PM
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    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Canadiens vs. CoyotesMar 5 8:46 AM