for this game

Andrei Kostitsyn helps Canadiens avoid meltdown

Dec 3, 2008 - 4:39 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Andrei Kostitsyn snapped a tie with 5:11 remaining in the third period and the Montreal Canadiens held on to post a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday.

Robert Lang notched a goal and an assist while Kostitsyn, Alexei Kovalev and captain Saku Koivu each set up a pair of tallies for Montreal, which carried a 3-0 lead into the third period but squandered it as Atlanta set a franchise record by scoring three goals in a 59-second span early in the session to forge a tie.

"We let down in the third period, and that just can't happen," Montreal's Tomas Plekanec said. "We started watching them and they started skating, getting goals on simple plays. It just can't happen again."

Former Canadiens defenseman Ron Hainsey, who also recorded an assist, netted goals 52 seconds apart and Chris Thorburn knotted the contest at 3-3 seven seconds later. But Kostitsyn put Montreal ahead for good when he picked up a loose puck along the left wing boards and skated toward the net before unleashing a shot that caromed off Atlanta blue-liner Tobias Enstrom and past goaltender Johan Hedberg.

"He was great," Koivu said of Kostitsyn. "When the other team gets three goals and he comes like that and gets the fourth goal, those are huge plays. I thought he created a lot of offensive stuff tonight."

Matt D'Agostini scored his first career goal and Plekanec and defenseman Andrei Markov also tallied for the Canadiens, who have won three of four.

"I think we did some very good things," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "We scored on the power play, that was good. We scored more than two goals, another good thing. For the first 40 minutes, I thought we just gave them maybe two or three scoring chances. We did some good things, we just have to keep building on it."

Jason Williams netted his seventh goal and Ilya Kovalchuk notched two assists for Atlanta, which fell to 1-6-1 in its last eight games.

"Montreal is a difficult place to play," Thrashers coach John Anderson said. "The crowd is really loud, it's pretty exciting, but when you're in town and down to the Montreal Canadiens, you're in trouble."

Playing in just his second contest of the season and the third of his career, D'Agostini opened the scoring with 3:39 remaining in the first period. After Kostitsyn's stuff attempt at the right goalpost was denied, the 22-year-old D'Agostini jabbed the rebound past Hedberg from the doorstep.

"That's the kind of goals you have to get up here," D'Agostini said. "Playing with Koivu and Andrei Kostitsyn, you just have to go to the net and hope for the best. Andrei banged it off (Hedberg's) pad and I was lucky just to bang it in there.

"I was pretty excited, but I think I was kind of in shock for the first minute. It was fun to celebrate with the guys and getting the big cheer from the fans."

Plekanec doubled Montreal's lead with 5:38 left in the second session, beating Hedberg to the stick side with a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle. Markov made it 3-0 with 56 seconds to go in the period by putting a rebound past Hedberg from the bottom of the left circle during a power play.

Drafted 13th overall by the Canadiens in 2000, Hainsey began the Thrashers' comeback at 6:28 of the third, when his slap shot from above the slot beat screened goaltender Carey Price to the stick side.

Needing two points to reach 100 for his career, Hainsey hit the plateau during a power play at 7:20. The blue-liner poked a rebound over the goal line before Price - who made 22 saves - was able to pull back the puck with his glove, capping his first career two-goal game and drawing Atlanta within 3-2.

After a video review that upheld the goal, the Thrashers controlled the ensuing faceoff and entered the offensive zone. Marty Reasoner made a cross-slot pass to Thorburn, who fired the puck past Price from the inner edge of the right circle at 7:27, knotting the contest.

"All year, we've been coming back," Anderson said. "We do have a lot of character in here."

"I don't really know what happened, and it happened quickly," Koivu said. "We have to look at the way we played in the third for 10-15 minutes. When you're up 3-0, the way we played, those should be games where teams can't come back and tie it like they did."

The goals scored seven seconds apart by Hainsey and Thorburn eclipsed Atlanta's previous mark for the fastest two tallies in franchise history. In a 5-4 triumph over Tampa Bay on November 17, 1999, Andrew Brunette and Matt Johnson netted goals in a span of 10 seconds.

Despite the quick comeback, Hainsey was disappointed with his team's overall effort.

"I think that's the fifth (game) in the last five minutes, five and change, that we've given away," he said. "If you look at it, we've been there, but we've made some big errors that have cost us a lot of points a quarter or a third of the way into the season. There's a lot to build off of in that third (period), but we need to get in there and get that first goal."

Kostitsyn snapped the deadlock over seven minutes later and Lang scored into an empty net with 75 seconds remaining before Williams got the Thrashers within one with 20 seconds remaining.

Koivu notched his second assist of the night on Kostitsyn's goal, giving him 612 career points and a share of 11th place on the franchise list. The Finn is tied with Mats Naslund, who played for the Canadiens from 1982-90.

Hedberg stopped 28 shots.






  • 30
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    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Thrashers 4, Canadiens 5  FinalDec 2 10:50 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 4 4
    MONTREAL 1 2 2 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - MATT D'AGOSTINI 1 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, SAKU KOIVU) 16:21
    2ND PRD: MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 6 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, MATHIEU DANDENAULT)
    14:22
    MON - (PP) ANDREI MARKOV 4 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, ROBERT LANG)
    19:04
    3RD PRD: ATL -

    Dec 2 10:07 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 4
    MONTREAL 5
    3RD PRD: ATL - JASON WILLIAMS 7 (ILYA KOVALCHUK, RON HAINSEY) 19:40
    (WITH EXTRA ATTACKER)

    Thrashers 4, Canadiens 5  3rd - 0:20Dec 2 10:06 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Close Finish)

    Thrashers 4, Canadiens 5  3rd - 0:20Dec 2 10:06 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 3
    MONTREAL 5
    3RD PRD: MON - (EN) ROBERT LANG 7 (ALEXEI KOVALEV) 18:45

    Thrashers 3, Canadiens 5  3rd - 1:15Dec 2 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 3
    MONTREAL 4
    3RD PRD: MON - ANDREI KOSTITSYN 5 (SAKU KOIVU, FRANCIS BOUILLON) 14:49

    Thrashers 3, Canadiens 4  3rd - 5:11Dec 2 9:57 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 3
    MONTREAL 3
    3RD PRD: ATL - CHRIS THORBURN 2 (MARTY REASONER, ILYA KOVALCHUK) 7:27

    Thrashers 3, Canadiens 3  3rd - 12:33Dec 2 9:43 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    MONTREAL 3
    3RD PRD: ATL - (PP) RON HAINSEY 5 (BRYAN LITTLE, VYACHESLAV KOZLOV)
    7:20

    Thrashers 2, Canadiens 3  3rd - 12:40Dec 2 9:43 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    MONTREAL 3
    3RD PRD: ATL - RON HAINSEY 4 (GARNET EXELBY) 6:28

    Thrashers 1, Canadiens 3  3rd - 13:32Dec 2 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 0
    MONTREAL 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - MATT D'AGOSTINI 1 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, SAKU KOIVU) 16:21
    2ND PRD: MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 6 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, MATHIEU DANDENAULT)
    14:22
    MON - (PP) ANDREI MARKOV 4 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, ROBERT LANG)
    19:04
    S

    Dec 2 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    MONTREAL 3
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI MARKOV 4 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, ROBERT LANG)
    19:04

    Thrashers 0, Canadiens 3  2nd - 0:56Dec 2 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 6 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, MATHIEU DANDENAULT)
    14:22

    Thrashers 0, Canadiens 2  2nd - 5:38Dec 2 8:57 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0
    MONTREAL 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - MATT D'AGOSTINI 1 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, SAKU KOIVU) 16:21
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 6 6
    MON 12 12
    GOALIES: ATL - JOHAN HEDBER

    Dec 2 8:14 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: MON - MATT D'AGOSTINI 1 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, SAKU KOIVU) 16:21

    Thrashers 0, Canadiens 1  1st - 3:39Dec 2 8:07 PM