for this game

Koivu's late goal lifts Canadiens past Kings

Jan 31, 2009 - 11:31 PM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- With the boos raining down from the disgruntled fans at the Bell Centre, the Montreal Canadiens found a late spark to avoid a fifth straight defeat.

Saku Koivu scored a power-play goal with 23 seconds remaining in the third period Saturday, lifting the Canadiens to a 4-3 victory over the Kings, who were furious no penalty was called on Christopher Higgins' tying goal with 1:53 remaining in regulation.

"Sometimes you need a win like this to get the confidence back and we showed that by playing for the whole 60 minutes," Koivu said. "You never know what's going to happen at the end. We got the bounces that we needed in the last couple of minutes and got the two points and those were a huge two points for us."

The Canadiens were handed the late power play after Kings left wing Kyle Calder was called for cross-checking Andrei Markov behind Montreal's net.

Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped Markov's slap shot from the blue line, but Quick could not freeze the puck. As it lay in the slot, the netminder accidentally swept it into his own net with his pads, sending those fans at the Bell Centre into a frenzy.

The goal originally was credited to Markov but later awarded to Koivu, who notched his eighth of the season.

"I didn't catch the bounce," Quick said. "There was a scramble in front, the puck snuck behind me and ended up going into the net. It's one of those goals you want to have back, especially the timing of the goal. (It) ended up being the difference in the game."

The Canadiens returned home Saturday after dropping the final four contests on their five-game road trip. However, Montreal was flat for most of the third period and the Kings were able to nurse a 3-2 lead until the final two minutes.

Los Angeles clamped down defensively, killing two earlier penalties in the third and allowing only four shots in the first 18 minutes of the period.

But Higgins took a lead pass from Maxim Lapierre and dragged down Kings rookie defenseman Drew Doughty as he broke toward the goal.

"We responded for 59 minutes, up to the Higgins' goal," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "The the tying goal was a penalty. Higgins throws Doughty down but that was a takedown."

With Doughty on the ice, Higgins skated in alone and slid the puck between the legs of Quick for his sixth goal of the campaign and first since November 26.

"You lose a couple of games and you feel the walls closing in on you, so it was nice to come back and get a win," Higgins said. "Especially with Boston (at home) tomorrow, we wanted to make sure we got the win tonight."

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Kings, who had taken a 3-2 lead on Jarret Stoll's goal with 1:48 remaining in the second.

Montreal took a 2-1 lead on Andrei Kostitsyn's power-play goal, his 17th of the season, 3:53 into the second period. The Kings tied it just under 10 minutes later on All-Star Dustin Brown's 20th goal.

"It's been a tough couple of games, but I think we did a lot of great things (Saturday),"

Canadiens defenseman Mike Komisarek said. "It was a big step forward tonight and we have an opportunity to have a great weekend now with Boston coming in."

"This is what it will be until the end of the season, facing teams like Los Angeles, Florida, Tampa Bay, teams on the bubble or just below that want to move up," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau added. "We have to battle from the first minute to the last minute."

Los Angeles defenseman Denis Gauthier received a game misconduct for charging at 3:50 of the second period when he delivered an elbow to the head of Montreal defenseman Josh Gorges, who took himself out of the game at the beginning of the third period.

"I haven't seen the replay yet so I'll go home, watch it and go from there," Gauthier said. "I don't want to really comment yet on something I haven't seen yet."






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    Kings 3, Canadiens 4  FinalFeb 1 2:01 AM
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  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 1 2 0 3
    MONTREAL 1 1 2 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - (PP) MICHAL HANDZUS 8 (DUSTIN BROWN, ALEXANDER FROLOV)
    4:57
    MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 10 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, MATT D'AGOSTINI)
    11:41
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) SERGEI KOSTITSYN 9 (SAKU KOIVU) 3:53
    LOS - DUSTIN BROWN 20 (KYLE CA

    Jan 31 4:39 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 3
    MONTREAL 4
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI MARKOV 8 (ROBERT LANG) 19:38

    Kings 3, Canadiens 4  3rd - 0:22Jan 31 4:36 PM
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    Kings 3, Canadiens 4  3rd - 0:22Jan 31 4:36 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 3
    MONTREAL 3
    3RD PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 6 (MAXIM LAPIERRE, TOM KOSTOPOULOS) 1:15

    Kings 3, Canadiens 3  3rd - 18:45Jan 31 4:30 PM
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    Kings 3, Canadiens 3  3rd - 1:53Jan 31 4:30 PM
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  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 1 2 3
    MONTREAL 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - (PP) MICHAL HANDZUS 8 (DUSTIN BROWN, ALEXANDER FROLOV)
    4:57
    MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 10 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, MATT D'AGOSTINI)
    11:41
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) SERGEI KOSTITSYN 9 (SAKU KOIVU) 3:53
    LOS - DUSTIN BROW

    Jan 31 3:43 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 3
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: LOS - JARRET STOLL 12 (KYLE CALDER) 18:16

    Kings 3, Canadiens 2  2nd - 1:44Jan 31 3:41 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 2
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: LOS - DUSTIN BROWN 20 (KYLE CALDER, JARRET STOLL) 13:30

    Kings 2, Canadiens 2  2nd - 6:30Jan 31 3:29 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 1
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) SERGEI KOSTITSYN 9 (SAKU KOIVU) 3:53 (TWO-MAN
    ADVANTAGE)

    Kings 1, Canadiens 2  2nd - 16:07Jan 31 3:18 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 1 1
    MONTREAL 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: LOS - (PP) MICHAL HANDZUS 8 (DUSTIN BROWN, ALEXANDER FROLOV)
    4:57
    MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 10 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, MATT D'AGOSTINI)
    11:41
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS 10

    Jan 31 2:50 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 1
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 10 (ROMAN HAMRLIK, MATT D'AGOSTINI)
    11:41

    Kings 1, Canadiens 1  1st - 8:19Jan 31 2:38 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 1
    MONTREAL 0
    1ST PRD: LOS - (PP) MICHAL HANDZUS 8 (DUSTIN BROWN, ALEXANDER FROLOV)
    4:57

    Kings 1, Canadiens 0  1st - 15:03Jan 31 2:23 PM