for this game

Lang's hat trick helps Canadiens top Rangers

Jan 8, 2009 - 6:06 AM
By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- It was a special third period for the Montreal Canadiens, especially for Robert Lang.

Lang recorded his second career hat trick as the Canadiens scored four times in the final period en route to a 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

All-Star defenseman Andrei Markov began the flurry with a power-play goal and then Lang scored three times over the final 15 1/2 minutes. He scored on a 5-on-3 advantage, added an even-strength tally and an empty-net shorthanded goal.

"Sometimes it bounces your way," said Lang, whose other hat trick was on November 12, 2003 for the Washington Capitals. "Even on the first goal it really did bounce my way. The net was half-empty and those are the things (you need to capitalize on). I'm glad they went in."

"He's a hard-working guy and, obviously, he always keeps his feet moving and that's the big difference," Canadiens defenseman Roman Hamrlik added. "He's been in the league a long time and three goals is always nice to have and he played really well tonight."

Former Ranger All-Star Alexei Kovalev and Guillaume Latendresse scored first-period goals for Montreal, which is 7-1-1 in its last nine games and has scored 18 goals in the last three meetings with the Rangers - all wins.

Besides scoring six goals for the second straight game and fourth time overall, the Canadiens also got a big night from backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak.

Making his third straight start in place of injured All-Star Carey Price, Halak made 17 of his 36 saves in the third and did not have to kill off a penalty until the final 3:42.

"The last two games I didn't play my best and I knew I could play better," said Halak, who gave up eight goals in his last two starts. "I was happy with my performance tonight."

Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan scored tying goals in the opening two periods for New York. Defenseman Michal Rozsival netted a third-period tally that made it a one-goal contest but it was not enough as the Rangers fell to 2-4-1 in their last seven contests.

"I think we had the game in control," New York coach Tom Renney said. "We lost control of it because we thought we were not getting calls that we should have. I think we got off track with emotions of not getting what we deserve in terms of calls."

The loss came just before New York opens a five-game road trip and two nights after a dominating 4-0 victory over Pittsburgh that saw them kill off eight man-advantages.

"They got two power-play goals and that made the difference," Rangers left wing Markus Naslund said. "I thought we had the momentum going our way going into the third."

The Canadiens came into their second meeting with New York with the worst power play in the Eastern Conference. They had been 0-for-15 in their previous three games and 2-for-26 over the last six contests.

"It's been kind of a hit-and-miss," Lang said of the power play. "More miss, in the last four, five games but it's always nice to get those couple of breaks."

"We've been able to get points and wins since the start of the year without having a really good power play," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "It's important to get goals like we did when you're on the road - especially in the third period."

Montreal failed to capitalize on its first man advantage, which came midway through the second. On their next power play, the Canadiens wasted little time scoring.

Just three seconds into Aaron Voros' hooking penalty, Tomas Plekanec cleanly won a faceoff and Markov blasted it over New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist 2:32 into the third.

Montreal was awarded a 5-on-3 minutes later when Scott Gomez was called for holding the stick and took a two-goal lead when Lang tapped in a rebound at the left doorstep 4:40 into the period.

Lang's goal turned out to be the game-winner as Rozsival went to the net and one-timed a cross-ice pass from Nikolai Zherdev just two minutes later.

Lang sealed Montreal's first win in New York since October 31, 2005 with 4:31 remaining, making a quick move to the inside of blue-liner Marc Staal and firing a quick shot to the top shelf.

"It was at the end of the shift," Lang said. "He was hoping for a dump-in and he let up a little bit. I just moved to the middle and finished it off."

Kovalev, who had two stints in New York, opened the scoring just 3:05 into the contest after a misplay behind the net by Lundqvist.

Coming off his first shutout of the season, Lundqvist backhanded a clearing pass but it was intercepted by rookie Max Pacioretty, who made a pass to Kovalev, who cut to the net and flipped the puck over Lundqvist.

"There were a couple of tough ones, especially the first one," Lundqvist said. "I can't give away the puck like that."






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    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Canadiens 6, Rangers 3  FinalJan 7 11:32 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 0 4 6
    NY RANGERS 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 10 (MAX PACIORETTY) 3:05
    NYR - CHRIS DRURY 12 (NIGEL DAWES, PETR PRUCHA) 17:22
    MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 6 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, KYLE
    CHIPCHURA) 18:53
    2ND PRD: NYR - RYAN CALLAHAN 12 (SCOTT GOMEZ, DM

    Jan 7 10:01 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 6
    NY RANGERS 3
    3RD PRD: MON - (SH) (EN) ROBERT LANG 15 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, FRANCIS
    BOUILLON) 19:23

    Canadiens 6, Rangers 3  3rd - 0:37Jan 7 10:00 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 5
    NY RANGERS 3
    3RD PRD: MON - ROBERT LANG 14 (JOSH GORGES, ROMAN HAMRLIK) 15:29

    Canadiens 5, Rangers 3  3rd - 4:31Jan 7 9:51 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    NY RANGERS 3
    3RD PRD: NYR - MICHAL ROZSIVAL 7 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV, MARKUS NASLUND)
    6:40

    Canadiens 4, Rangers 3  3rd - 13:20Jan 7 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    NY RANGERS 2
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) ROBERT LANG 13 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, ANDREI MARKOV)
    4:40

    Canadiens 4, Rangers 2  3rd - 15:20Jan 7 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    NY RANGERS 2
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI MARKOV 6 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 2:32

    Canadiens 3, Rangers 2  3rd - 17:28Jan 7 9:23 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 0 2
    NY RANGERS 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 10 (MAX PACIORETTY) 3:05
    NYR - CHRIS DRURY 12 (NIGEL DAWES, PETR PRUCHA) 17:22
    MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 6 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, KYLE
    CHIPCHURA) 18:53
    2ND PRD: NYR - RYAN CALLAHAN 12 (SC

    Jan 7 9:00 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 26 roots

    Canadiens 2, Rangers 2  2nd - 6:05Jan 7 8:54 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    NY RANGERS 2
    2ND PRD: NYR - RYAN CALLAHAN 12 (SCOTT GOMEZ, DMITRI KALININ) 9:25

    Canadiens 2, Rangers 2  2nd - 10:35Jan 7 8:47 PM
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    McTool Added 5 roots

    Canadiens 2, Rangers 1  2nd - 14:55Jan 7 8:44 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 2
    NY RANGERS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 10 (MAX PACIORETTY) 3:05
    NYR - WADE REDDEN 3 (CHRIS DRURY, NIGEL DAWES) 17:22
    MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 6 (ROMAN HAMRLIK) 18:53
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- ---

    Jan 7 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    NY RANGERS 1
    1ST PRD: MON - GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE 6 (ROMAN HAMRLIK) 18:53

    Canadiens 2, Rangers 1  1st - 1:07Jan 7 8:13 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    NY RANGERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYR - WADE REDDEN 3 (CHRIS DRURY, NIGEL DAWES) 17:22

    Canadiens 1, Rangers 1  1st - 2:38Jan 7 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    NY RANGERS 0
    1ST PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 10 (MAX PACIORETTY) 3:05

    Canadiens 1, Rangers 0  1st - 16:55Jan 7 7:45 PM
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    davipilo Added 5 roots

    Canadiens vs. RangersJan 7 2:07 PM