Canadiens ride strong first period to top Sharks

MONTREAL (Ticker) — All-Star defenseman Andrei Markov and
captain Saku Koivu recorded a goal and an assist apiece as the
Montreal Canadiens scored three times in the first period and
held on for a 3-2 triumph over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

Blue-liner Josh Gorges also scored and Jaroslav Halak turned
aside 44 shots for Montreal, which secured its fourth win in a
row since a 3-11-1 stretch in its previous 15 games.

Joe Pavelski and All-Star Joe Thornton scored 49 seconds apart
in the second period and Brian Boucher finished with 18 saves
for San Jose, which fell to 5-2-0 in its last seven contests.

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Markov opened the scoring with 8:55 remaining in the first
period after unleashing a blast from the point past Boucher for
his ninth goal of the season.

Gorges doubled the advantage just 2:22 later after tapping in a
centering feed from Matt D’Agostini for his third tally of the

Koivu gave Montreal a 3-0 lead after accepting a feed from
Markov and beating Boucher with 2:13 remaining in the session.

Pavelski put San Jose on the scoreboard 66 seconds into the
second period after tucking the puck past Halak and Thornton
tallied shortly thereafter by beating Halak under the crossbar
for his 16th goal of the season.