Canadiens edge struggling Blackhawks in OT

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Montreal, QC, Canada (4E Sports) – Andrei Markov scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to carry the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-1 victory over the struggling Chicago Blackhawks Saturday at Bell Centre.

Max Pacioretty’s centering pass was deflected to Markov, whose wrist shot at 1:28 of overtime beat Corey Crawford for his fifth goal of the season as the Canadiens won for the second time in three games.

Carey Price made 19 saves while Pacioretty, Alexei Emelin, Michael Bournival assisted for the Canadiens (26-15-5).

Marian Hossa scored while Crawford had 36 saves for the Blackhawks (29-8-10), who lost their third straight and have won twice in their past seven games (2-1-4), their worst stretch of the season.

Crawford has not won in his past six starts (0-3-3), and he was denied his first victory in his second career start in his hometown.

Before the game, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien tasked the line of Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta and Travis Moen to face the Blackhawks’ top line of Jonathan Toews, Hossa and Patrick Sharp.

Sharp and Toews entered the game each riding four-game point streaks and the duo had combined for 12 goals and 13 assists in their previous eight games.

Montreal outshot Chicago, 11-6, but failed to capitalize, entering the second period in a scoreless tie.

The Canadiens continued their aggressiveness in the second before Markov finally scored on Montreal’s 18th shot through a George Parros screen at 12:54.

The Plekanec line and the defensive pair of P.K. Subban and Josh Gorges were effective in limiting the line’s chances through 49 minutes but Sharp and Toews set up Hossa’s tying goal at 9:22 of the third period to make it 1-1.

The Blackhawks had two chances to win the game late in regulation. Bryan Bickell hit the post with 1:40 to play in the third.

Moments later, Toews drove the net hard against Price and a loose puck came to Sharp on the lip of the crease, but he missed the open side of the net.

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