Kovalev lifts Canadiens past Blues

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) — Mired in a recent slump, the Montreal
Canadiens needed more than regulation to snap out of it.

Alex Kovalev scored the lone goal in the third round of a
shootout as the Canadiens skated to a 3-2 victory over the St.
Louis Blues on Sunday.

“I just didn’t think (Blues goaltender Manny Legace) would get
back over to the post, so I went for it, and got it over him,”
Kovalev said. “Somehow, we found a way tonight.”

Carey Price made 24 saves and denied David Perron and Keith
Tkachuk in the bonus format as Montreal earned its second win in
the last six contests.

“(Perron and Tkachuk) both did what I thought they would do in
the shootout,” Price said. “I’m just glad we had an opportunity
to get that point after the way the game went and as well as the
Blues played.”

Andrei Kostitsyn recorded a goal and an assist and Robert Lang
scored with 4:12 remaining in the third period to forge a 2-2

“This was one of our best games of the season,” Montreal coach
Guy Carbonneau said. “We didn’t play so well in the first and
took a lot of penalties all night. But, we were able to battle
back in the third and win it in a shootout, so we’re really

The Canadiens were 0-for-10 on the power play and have scored
twice in their last 36 chances.

Steve Regier netted his first career goal and later added a
power-play tally for the Blues, who have dropped seven of their
last eight.

The Blues snapped a six-game losing streak with a 4-3 overtime
victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday behind two
goals from Andy McDonald. However, McDonald, the team’s leader
with 18 points, left this contest in the first with a fractured
left leg.

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“(He) will be out indefinitely,” Blues coach Andy Murray said.
“We’ll know more (Monday). Andy has been, to this point, our
best player.”

The Blues got on the board first when Cam Janssen unleashed a
slap shot from the slot and Regier redirected the puck past
Price just 3:48 into the opening period.

Legace finished with 24 saves and was first exposed with 1:55
left in the second. Kostitsyn took a pass from Price and
charged down the ice before converting a backhander from the
right side to even the game at 1-1.

“The only thing that I was disappointed about was the second
period,” Murray said. “After Andy’s situation, we sat around
waiting to see what would happen, and wasted 20 minutes. Nobody
feels sorry for us, but, we did battle one of the league’s
better teams to the end.”

Regier struck again 3 1/2 minutes into the third, but Legace was
solved once again as Lang deflected Kostitsyn’s pass across the
crease while sitting on the right doorstep with 4:12 left.

“Right as (Kostitsyn) shot it in, I lost my balance,” Lang said.
“If I had kept my stick on the ice, I would never have been able
to react in time to get to the puck. Then, I just kept whacking
until it went in.”

Blues veteran left wing Paul Kariya missed his fifth game with
an injured foot.