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Tanguay, Koivu help Canadiens jolt Coyotes

MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Alex Tanguay scored twice and captain Saku

Koivu had a goal and two assists as the Montreal Canadiens

recorded their fourth victory in a row with a 4-1 triumph over

the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.

Robert Lang also tallied, defenseman Andrei Markov notched two

assists and Carey Price made 28 saves for Montreal, which

improved to 7-0-0 with three ties in its last 10 meetings with

Phoenix. The last time the Coyotes defeated the Canadiens was

December 9, 1998.

"Winning is fun right now - we've only lost that first one in

the shootout in Buffalo," Tanguay said. "We're still at the

point where we need to wrap up wins, move up in the standings,

and right now, we are doing that and we're having fun."

Captain Shane Doan scored and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 29 shots

for Phoenix, which finished its four-game road trip with a 1-3-0


Tanguay opened the scoring 6:11 into the first period, accepting

a brilliant backhand pass from Koivu and beating Bryzgalov for

his second tally of the season.

Koivu doubled the advantage just over five minutes later. After

Markov faked a shot from the left point and fed the captain in

the right faceoff circle, Koivu settled the puck and beat an

out-of-position Bryzgalov.

The tone of the contest quickly changed after Coyotes defenseman

Kurt Sauer leveled Andrei Kostitsyn in the second period,

causing the Belarussian to leave the game. He did not return.

" (Kostitsyn) came over the blue line, he was starting to lay

back and, I don't know, I just hit him," Sauer said. "I didn't

see the replay, but it isn't good when a guy goes down like

that. I don't think it was (a head shot). I don't think I came

up high on him."

"I don't know if it was dirty, but I know (the league is) trying

to erase blows to the head, and I think timing is part of the

game and hitting's part of the game," Montreal coach Guy

Carbonneau said. "(Sauer) pushed himself forward to try and

make a hit, and his arm was up."

Although no penalty was called, brother Sergei Kostitsyn came

out on the next shift and physically stepped up his game,

drawing a roughing penalty after checking defenseman David Hale

behind the Coyotes' net.

Later in the session, Tom Kostopoulos challenged Sauer to a

fight, with less-than-desirable results. Tanguay added his

second goal of the game 66 seconds later to give the Canadiens a

three-goal bulge.

"It was just a reaction. (I'm) starting to know Saku, know what

he's going to do a little bit," Tanguay said of the tally.

"There's always somebody in front. I just hung back and he made

a beautiful pass through a lot of guys, and then I just had to

make sure to take my time and not miss the net and put it in."

The remainder of the second period proved to be contentious,

with Montreal enforcer Georges Laraque being whistled for a

two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct and a five-minute fighting

penalty with Todd Fedoruk.

"The league punishes blows to the head, so you can't just go

after a guy and jump on him - especially me," Laraque said. "I

thought we responded well in a moderate way to show we didn't

like it, but again, you have to be careful. You don't want to

get five or 10 games (as a suspension). Then who won?"

Lang extended the advantage to 4-0 with 56 seconds remaining in

the second period, taking advantage of Daniel Winnik's turnover

in his own end and quickly wristing the puck past Bryzgalov for

a power-play tally.

Doan spoiled Price's bid for a shutout midway through the third

period with his fourth of the season.

"He stoned me on the first one, what a save on the first one,

and we needed that one a lot more," Doan said of a first-period

save by Price, who also is his cousin. "He came up with the big

save when he needed. I think it was a 1-0 game there. If I

score it's 1-1, it's a different game."



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