Streaking Blackhawks beat Habs 2-1
Montreal Canadiens goalie Mike Condon makes a save on Chicago Blackhawks' Artemi Panarin during first period NHL hockey action Thursday, January 14, 2016 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 14, 2016 10:22PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 14, 2016 10:56PM EST
MONTREAL -- Jonathan Toews and Ryan Garbutt scored in the first period as the Chicago Blackhawks stretched their winning run to nine games with a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, moving Joel Quenneville into sole possession of second place all-time in coaching victories.
It was Quenneville's 783rd win, one more than Al Arbour, although still well behind leader Scotty Bowman's 1,244.
The Blackhawks (29-13-4), who have not lost since Dec. 27 against Carolina, will try to make it 10 straight Friday night in Toronto.
Chicago Blackhawks goalie and Chateauguay, Que. native Corey Crawford makes a save against the Montreal Canadiens during second period NHL hockey action Thursday, January 14, 2016 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Paul Byron scored for Montreal (23-18-3), now 5-14 since Dec. 1 despite a spirited effort against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Shots were 40-33 in favour of the Canadiens, with strong goaltending from both Chicago's Corey Crawford and Montreal's Mike Condon. Crawford, from nearby Chateauguay, Que., has not lost in regulation time in six career meetings with the Canadiens (4-0-2).
His biggest test came in the second period when he made four saves in rapid succession in one hectic sequence.
The Blackhawks were first on nearly every puck to open the game and scored at 8:26 when Andrew Shaw got past P.K. Subban and fed the puck across the front of the net for Toews to bang in his 17th of the season.
Byron tied it at 10:36 when he went to the net to tip a David Desharnais feed past Crawford.
Chicago's fourth line had Montreal hemmed in its zone for a long stretch before Garbutt beat Condon from the left circle at 12:56.
Montreal had defenceman Jeff Petry back after missing a game with a lower body injury. Chicago centre Artem Anisimov flew in on time to be in the lineup after missing a game with an illness.
Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien has a few words for Brian Flynn as they face the Chicago Blackhawks during third period NHL hockey action Thursday, January 14, 2016 in Montreal. The Blackhawks defeated the Canadiens 2-1. The Habs play again Saturday night in St. Louis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson