Lang's hat trick lifts Canadiens
Andrei Markov and Robert Lang scored power-play goals 2:08 apart to break open a tight game in the third period and lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-3 victory over the host New York Rangers last night.
There had been only one penalty called before New York's Aaron Voros went off for hooking 2:29 into the third. Tomas Plekanec won the ensuing faceoff over to Markov, who whistled in his sixth goal.
The Rangers - tied in points with Philadelphia atop the Atlantic Division - took the next two penalties as well, setting up a five-on-three advantage that Lang converted into a 4-2 Canadiens lead at 4:40 with the first of his three goals.
Michal Rozsival got the Rangers back within a goal two minutes later, but New York lost for the fifth time in seven games (2-4-1). Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan scored tying goals earlier.
Alex Kovalev and Guillaume Latendresse staked Montreal to a pair of one-goal leads in front of goalie Jaroslav Halak, who subbed for injured starter Carey Price for the third straight game. Halak made 36 saves and was helped by his teammates, who weren't shorthanded until there was 3:42 left.
Lang made it 5-3 with 4:31 remaining during four-on-four play and finished his second NHL hat trick with an empty-netter. Montreal, on a 7-1-1 spurt, jumped one point ahead of the Rangers into fourth in the Eastern Conference. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 19 shots, but couldn't build off a shutout of Pittsburgh Monday.
Canucks 4, Oilers 2 - Steve Bernier scored two goals and had an assist and Alexandre Burrows added a goal and two assists to lift Vancouver over host Edmonton. Pavol Demitra added an empty-netter to complete the scoring for the Canucks.
Robert Nillson and Erik Cole scored for the Oilers.
Bernier's goals broke open a 1-1 tie for Vancouver in the second period. Cole brought Edmonton within a goal at 8:48 of the third before Demitra sealed the victory.