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Sergei Kostitsyn caps late scoring surge, lifts Canadiens

PA Stats Inc
By:
The Hockey News
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Sergei Kostitsyn caps late scoring surge, lifts Canadiens

PA Stats Inc
By:

MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Sergei Kostitsyn provided Guy Carbonneau
another game to coach at the Bell Centre.

The Belarussian snapped a tie with 22 seconds remaining in the
third period as the Montreal Canadiens recorded four goals in
the session en route to a 5-4 triumph over the Washington
Capitals on Saturday.

Tomas Plekanec scored twice and Robert Lang and Andrei Kostitsyn
netted power-play goals 43 seconds apart in the third for
Montreal, which won its fourth straight and improved to 9-1-1 in
its last 11 games.

"Games (like this) are fun to play, and everyone was in it. Our
guys did a great job," Plekanec said. "We came back when they
scored, and that was great for us. We got on a roll and kept at
it."

Alexander Semin netted a pair of goals, Tomas Fleischmann and
Michael Nylander also tallied and defenseman Mike Green notched
two assists for Washington, which dropped its second in a row
after posting a 12-1-0 mark in its previous 13 contests.

"We deserved to get at least a point tonight," reigning Hart
Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin said. "We had a lot of chances, but
they're a good team and they have a good system when it comes to
the power play. But it all came down to luck.

"It's tough to lose in the last 20 seconds. We were shorthanded
when they scored two goals in the third, but we came back. We
fought and we didn't give up. It's hockey, but they had more
luck than us."

With the win, Carbonneau will serve as the assistant to Boston's
Claude Julien for the Eastern Conference in the 57th All-Star
Game, which will be played here on January 25.

"For me, it's something new. It will be a bit strange behind
the bench (with Julien) during the game, but it will be fun,"
Carbonneau said. "It's always a privilege when you have a
chance to be around superstars and people who make this league
great.

"The best part is that they usually have different minds,
different stories - why you do this, why you do that, how they
prepare themselves. We're going to be five (Canadiens) at the
All-Star Game. It's going to be a great experience because of
that."

Carbonneau's gain came at the expense of Washington coach Bruce
Boudreau, who would have been named the assistant had his team
emerged victorious.

"You could see the players on both teams, everybody on both
teams the way they celebrated (each goal)," Boudreau said.
"They were well aware of what was going to happen for their
coach if they were successful, and their (team) was."

In the waning moments of the game, Capitals defenseman Milan
Jurcina could not locate the puck in his skates, and Sergei
Kostitsyn alertly gained possession and wristed a shot that slid
under the right pad of goaltender Brent Johnson for his eighth
goal of the season.

After netting just one goal in his previous 16 games, Plekanec
snapped a 3-3 tie at 4:31 of the third period with his ninth
tally of the season.

The goal capped a scoring frenzy as the teams combined to tally
four times in a span of 2:35. But Nylander evened the contest
nearly eight minutes later, netting his fourth of the campaign
during a power play.

With Montreal trailing, 2-1, Lang and Andrei Kostitsyn scored
man-advantage goals 43 seconds apart to give the Canadiens a
brief edge. But Fleischmann notched his 13th of the season just
96 seconds later to tie it at 3-3.

"They kind of got momentum after (the two power-play goals) and
started playing better than they were (earlier)," Green said.
"They kind of didn't take their foot off the gas after that, and
we kind of had a hard time scoring goals."

Semin sandwiched tallies around Plekanec's first goal, which
came with his team shorthanded at 9:20 of the first period.

Plekanec received a lead pass from All-Star defenseman Mike
Komisarek in the neutral zone before skating in and wristing a
shot past Johnson.

After opening the scoring at 7:59 of the first session by
deflecting Green's blast from just inside the blue line past
goaltender Jaroslav Halak, Semin restored Washington's lead with
6:56 remaining in the second, stripping the puck from defenseman
Patrice Brisebois at the blue line before beating Halak with a
wrist shot.

"Everyone is pushing in the same direction and everyone is
staying with the game plan - we work hard," Brisebois said.
"The leaders are doing their job, the rookies are playing well
and our goalie Jaro is playing good.

"We have confidence, we have a good team and we know we have
skills."

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Sergei Kostitsyn caps late scoring surge, lifts Canadiens