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Kovalev, Markov lift Canadiens past Blackhawks

MONTREAL (AP) -- Alex Kovalev scored for a fourth straight game

25 seconds in and assisted on Andrei Markov's power-play goal to

lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-1 win over the Chicago

Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

Facing former goaltending partner Cristobal Huet, Carey Price

came within 7:42 of recording his first shutout in over four

months but allowed Patrick Sharp's 26th goal. Price made 28

saves as he and the Canadiens improved to 3-0-1 in their last

four games.

Guillaume Latendresse and Mathieu Schneider also scored for

Montreal, which remained in eighth place in the Eastern

Conference with 88 points.

Kovalev scored his 23rd goal when he beat Huet with Montreal's

first shot as the Canadiens took advantage of Duncan Keith's

blind back pass behind his net. He has scored five times during

his streak.

Huet stopped 29 shots in his first start in two weeks. He faced

his former team for the first time since he was traded to

Washington on Feb. 26, 2008.

Sharp mustered the only offense for Chicago, which lost its

second in a row following a 3-0-2 run that included a three-game

winning streak.

Canadiens forward Andrei Kostitsyn got 19 minutes in penalties

13:34 into the first for instigating a fight with Aaron Johnson.

Kostitsyn had an unsportsmanlike conduct minor tacked on to his

instigator, fighting major, and misconduct when he went after

Johnson after the Chicago defenseman checked his brother,

Sergei, into the boards behind the Blackhawks net.

Sergei Kostitsyn left the game with an upper body injury and

didn't return. Montreal defenseman Roman Hamrlik also sustained

an upper body injury in the second period that knocked him out

of the game.

Latendresse made it a 2-0 lead with his 13th goal 6:12 into the

second period. Latendresse shot his own rebound off Huet and the

puck flipped high in the air before sailing behind the

Blackhawks goalie into the net.

Price kept his left pad stuck on the right post to deny Dave

Bolland's deke attempt moments later.

Markov scored his 11th goal on a power play 15:52 into the

second to increase Montreal's lead to three.

Sharp made it 3-1 when he spoiled Price's bid for his first

shutout since Nov. 11.

Markov added an assist for his team-leading 62nd point on

Schneider's power-play goal at 16:43.

The Canadiens, who are celebrating their 100th season, were

originally scheduled to wear "barber pole" throwback jerseys

honoring the 1912-13 team.

Previously worn during a 3-1 loss to Boston on Feb. 1, the

sweaters and socks featuring narrow, horizontal bands of red,

white and blue were set aside in favor of retro uniforms for the

1915-16 team that more closely resemble Montreal's current red

jerseys.

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