Revived Kovalev perks up Canadiens again
Alex Kovalev scored for a fourth straight game 25 seconds in and assisted on Andrei Markov's power-play goal to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks last night at the Bell Centre.
Facing former goaltending partner Cristobal Huet, Carey Price came within 7:42 of recording his first shutout in more than four months but allowed Patrick Sharp's 26th goal. Price made 28 saves as he and the Canadiens improved to 3-0-1 in their last four.
Guillaume Latendresse and Mathieu Schneider also scored for Montreal, which remained in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 88 points.
Canadiens forward Andrei Kostitsyn got 19 minutes in penalties 13:34 into the first for instigating a fight with Aaron Johnson. Kostitsyn went after Johnson after the Chicago defenseman checked his brother, Sergei, into the boards behind the Blackhawks' net.
Sergei Kostitsyn left with an upper-body injury, as did teammate Roman Hamrlik. Neither returned.
Ducks 5, Oilers 3 - Scott Niedermayer had a goal and two assists, and Anaheim jumped above the postseason cutoff line in the West with a win on the road.
Rob Niedermayer had a pair of goals, and Sheldon Brookbank and Chris Pronger also scored for the Ducks, who have won seven of eight to move into seventh place in the tight West race. The Ducks and Nashville both have 84 points.
Blue Jackets 2, Predators 1 - Raffi Torres scored early in the third period and Steve Mason made the go-ahead goal stand up as host Columbus defeated Nashville in a key Western Conference showdown.
Michael Peca and Torres came in on a two-on-one against defenseman Shea Weber, and Peca's shot resulted in a short rebound. Torres jammed the puck past Pekka Rinne at 4:05 for his fourth goal in six games.
Stars 3, Kings 2 - Brendan Morrison scored two power-play goals as visiting Dallas snapped a seven-game losing streak to keep its slim playoff hopes aflitter.
The Stars are 6 points out of the eighth spot in the West, an unwieldy position considering they have to surpass four teams to get to the postseason.
Canucks 2, Wild 1 - Henrik Sedin scored with a minute left in overtime and Roberto Luongo stopped 33 shots, leading Vancouver at St. Paul.
Former Wild forward Pavol Demitra scored Vancouver's regulation goal late in the second period and Marian Gaborik tied it at 5:14 of the third for the Wild.
Panthers 5, Senators 2 - Richard Zednik and Bryan McCabe scored power-play goals late in the second period to lift host Florida.
Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss also scored for Florida, which won its third straight game. Michael Frolik added an empty-net goal with 1:32 left.