Markov scores OT winner in Habs 4-3 win over Devils
Montreal Canadiens' Andrei Markov (79) celebrates with temamate Erik Cole (72) after scoring against the New Jersey Devils during overtime NHL hockey action in Montreal, Sunday, January 27, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Graham Hughes.
Published Sunday, January 27, 2013 7:57PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 28, 2013 8:02AM EST
MONTREAL - Andrei Markov continued his torrid start to the 2013 season, netting the overtime winner near the end of overtime in a hard-fought 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils.
Markov scored his fourth goal of the season after Rene Bourque’s powerplay slapshot bounced off the backboard to a spot beside Devils' goaltender Martin Brodeur. Markov, who had snuck up from his defense position, was Johnny-on-the-spot to lift a short wrister into the net, to ice the Canadiens’ third straight victory.
The Canadiens had been locked in a 3-3 tie against the dreaded New Jersey Devils, who had won in their last eight visits to Montreal. Perhaps more impressively, Martin Brodeur had not lost in Montreal since March 11, 2008.
Montreal (3-1) kicked off their quest for a third-straight victory with a pair of first-period goals by Brendan Gallagher and Ryan White against the Devils (3-1) Sunday evening.
Gallagher netted his first-ever NHL goal from the slot on a nifty pass from fellow-rookie Alex Galchenyuk, popping the puck by Martin Brodeur on a bang-bang play.
The Canadiens took a 2-0 lead soon after, as Ryan White banged in a rebound off a shot from Alexei Emelin, which was also deflected by Travis Moen.
The Devils came in playing a wide-open, freewheeling offensive style, unlike their customary defense-first approach of previous years.
The Devils narrowed the lead to 2-1 at 3:26 of the second period, as Patrick Elias deflected a high shot downwards past Price. The Canadiens contested the goal but it was upheld after video review as there was no evidence that Elias' stick was above crossbar level.
Carey Price kept the Devils from tying it up near the end of the second period, as he stopped Ilya Kovalchuk, who was sprung by a stretch pass while the Habs were changing on the fly.
The Canadiens took a 3-1 lead at 2:00 in the third period when Alex Galchenyuk blocked a clearing pass at the Devils' blueline and floated the puck forward. The puck hit a stick, flew upwards and newcomer Brandon Prust tapped it from mid-air into the Devils’ net.
The same combination played the goat soon after, as both Galchenyuk and Prust were penalized for high sticking on the same sequence, leading to a five-on-three power play for New Jersey.
The Devils wasted little time capitalizing on their two-man advantage, as David Clarkson netted his third of the season by tapping a puck into the open side on an assist by Patrick Elias.
The Devils then tied the score at three as Danius Zubrus scored on the short-side from in close on a quick pass from Patrick Elias at 13:02 of the third.
Kovalchuk narrowly missed scoring in overtime as his shot rang off the crossbar.
A few minutes later Erik Cole was hauled down while muscling towards the net, allowing the Canadiens' to enjoy a short powerplay with under one minute remaining in overtime.
The Habs put the game away when Markov scored the winner, leading the crowd to erupt in joy.
Yannick Weber suited up for the first time this season, replacing an ailing Tomas Kaberle, while Lars Eller was also reinserted into the lineup after being a healthy scratch for two games.
Max Pacioretty is expected to miss up to four weeks with appendicitis.