for this game

Habs end skid with win over Canucks

Feb 23, 2011 - 7:23 AM Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Carey Price was strong with 37 saves, as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Vancouver Canucks, 3-2, at Rogers Arena.

Andrei Kostitsyn, David Desharnais and Brian Gionta scored for the Canadiens, who returned to the usual warmth of an indoor arena and halted their three- game winless skid. On Sunday, the Habs lost 4-0 to Calgary in the Heritage Classic, which was played outside at McMahon Stadium, where the Stampeders of the Canadian Football League play their home games.

Montreal kept pace in the Northeast Division race and remained four points behind Boston, which also won on Tuesday night.

Henrik Sedin and Mikael Samuelsson tallied for the Canucks, who are 4-4 in their last eight games, but still have the most standings points in the NHL with 85, one more than Philadelphia.

Roberto Luongo allowed three goals on 25 shots in the loss.

In the first period, Montreal scored twice within a 67-second span for a 2-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes. Shortly after Desharnais tallied his sixth goal of the season on a breakaway at the 6:07 mark, Gionta netted his 22nd marker on a rebound from the inner rim of the right circle.

"They were throwing everything at the net and generating a lot of chaos, especially when you look at their second goal," Luongo said. "There's two guys in the crease battling, the puck squirts out and they get another couple of chances after that, that's the way goals are scored in this league, you've got to go to the paint and you've got to make something happen in there."

At the 3:27 mark of the second stanza, Vancouver cut its deficit in half with a power-play goal. Price shot the puck over the glass and the Habs received the ensuing delay-of-game minor. The Canucks needed only 26 seconds with the extra skater to score, as Sedin's wrist shot from inside the right circle lit the lamp with help from a screen in front by Ryan Kesler.

Montreal restored its two-goal lead with 9:24 to go before the second intermission. After a dump-in from the right side, the puck circled the rear boards and Lars Eller gained control along the lower left half-wall. Eller then sent a pass into the near slot for Kostitsyn, whose snap shot one-timer beat Luongo.

The second power-play goal of the game for Vancouver made it 3-2 at 1:06 of the third. Jeff Halpern's hooking minor inside the final minute of the second stanza carried over and Samuelsson's one-timer from the centerpoint slid under the pads of Price, who was again screened in front by Kesler.

Vancouver peppered Price with 13 total shots throughout the final stanza, but failed to find the equalizer. Daniel Sedin missed the far post by inches with a slap shot from the left side in the final seconds.

Game Notes

It was Samuelsson's 600th career NHL game...This marked only the second regulation loss for the Canucks in their last 19 home games...The Habs halted an eight-game skid at Vancouver and also swept the two-game season series...It was the 17th goal for Samuelsson...The Canucks finished 2-for-6 on the power play, while the visitors failed on all three of their power-play chances.