Bouillon, Markov lift Canadiens over Wild

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By Brian Hall

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- The Montreal Canadiens'

power-play unit took advantage of its biggest opportunity. The

Minnesota Wild failed to do the same.

Defensemen Francis Bouillon and Andrei Markov each scored a goal

as the Canadiens edged the Wild, 2-1, on Thursday.

After Minnesota blue-liner Brent Burns opened the scoring 91

seconds into the game, Bouillon forged a tie with his second

tally of the season three minutes later. Markov provided the

game-winner early in the second period while on the power play.

Alex Tanguay set up both goals, while Robert Lang and Guillaume

Latendresse added an assist apiece for the Canadiens.

"I think the last two years, our power play has been No. 1 in

the league," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "Not as high

of a percentage this year, but we're doing a lot of good things.

Our penalty kill is something that we talked about in the summer

and tried to work on a little bit more.

"Tonight, it was one of those nights. We took a lot of bad

penalties, a lot of them. We gave them 5-on-3 (opportunities).

I think there's a combination there, where our guys on the ice

did some great jobs and our goalie made good saves when he had

to."

Carey Price made 28 saves for Montreal, which has won two

straight after suffering its first loss in regulation on

Saturday to the Anaheim Ducks.

"The guys played really well, especially on the penalty kill,"

Price said of the team's defense.

Sitting on the doorstep, Burns converted a no-look centering

pass from James Sheppard to give Minnesota its early advantage.

A forward-turned-defenseman, Burns capitalized on his first

shift as a right wing, where he was moved to fill in for the

injured Marian Gaborik and Owen Nolan - both of whom are

sidelined with lower body injuries.

The subject of many trade rumors, Gaborik has sat out all but

two games this season. Nolan missed three contests earlier this

season but had returned for the previous three heading into this

one.

"We need (Pierre-Marc Bouchard) to do a little more, and the

other guys, to get the right play at the right time, and the

right shot," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said of his

shorthanded squad. "We can't rely just on the power play. We

need to get goals 5-on-5, too."

After Bouillon pulled the Canadiens even, Markov capitalized on

a two-man advantage early in the second. Markov took a pass

from Tanguay at the point and blasted a shot that surprised Josh

Harding, beating the goaltender over his right shoulder.

Harding finished with 19 saves for the Wild, whose failures on

the power play had the sellout crowd voicing its displeasure.

"It gets tougher and it gets frustrating," Minnesota captain

Mikko Koivu said. "It gets harder, but that is no excuse. We

got the chances and we couldn't score."

Minnesota had its own two-man advantage four minutes after

Markov's tally yet managed just one shot on goal. In the second

session, it spent 2 1/2 minutes with a 5-on-3 advantage and

nearly seven minutes overall on the power play but was unable to

get anything past Price.

"The whole second period, I thought, we played on the penalty

kill. That made the difference in the game," Price said. "We

had to kill off, I think, two 5-on-3 (opportunities) there. I

think that kind of grabbed the momentum for us. It kind of took

the wind out of their sails."

Price was not the only member of the Canadiens impressed with

the team's defensive effort in this one.

"Penalty-killers take a lot of pride in killing penalties,"

Montreal right wing Tom Kostopoulos said. "A lot of times, you

don't get the praise and everything else. But in games like

tonight, you need to step up, and I thought our penalty kill won

the hockey game tonight."

In a lackluster effort, the Wild finished 0-for-10 with the man

advantage.

"It's getting the right shot, getting the right pass," Lemaire

said. "You always have to give some credit to the other team,

the way they play. The goalie stops the puck, and the few good

chances we had, he stopped them. But it's not an excuse when

you do have two 5-on-3 (opportunities) that you're not getting

better chances."

Thanks to the strong effort, Montreal remained undefeated in

regulation on the road.

"We knew it was going to be tough coming in here. They play a

good style, especially against a team like we are - a defensive

team," Carbonneau said. "But I felt, take away the penalties

and the time we spent killing it, I thought 5-on-5, we played

really well."

The game was billed as a matchup of the Koivu brothers,

Minnesota's Mikko and Montreal's captain Saku. It was the third

time they have met but first in which both were wearing the C on

their jerseys.

It is the first time brothers opposed each other as captains

since Brian Sutter of the St. Louis Blues and Darryl Sutter of

the Chicago Blackhawks battled from 1982-87.

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