Sergei Kostitsyn caps late scoring surge, lifts Canadiens - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Sergei Kostitsyn caps late scoring surge, lifts Canadiens

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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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