The Habs played host to an Original 6 rival and were able to come away with exactly what they needed: a win on home ice before departing on a lengthy road trip.
The Habs and Hawks put on a thriller which featured heavy hitting and North-South action Tuesday night, which saw Montreal triumph 4-3 in overtime. Guillaume Latendresse played the hero in OT, after completing a nice play set up by Maxim Lapierre. Latendresse now has 12 goals on the season.
Montreal (now 21-13-8) have collected points in 6 straight contests.
Koivu opened the scoring on a nice forechecking feed courtesy of Latendresse, who hustled to create a play deep in the Hawks zone and fed the puck to Koivu who was streaking in through the slot. Koivu deked Lalime, and put a backhander towards goal which first went off the post before trickling passed the goal line. Patrice Brisebois was next to score for the Habs. After Skille got his 1st career NHL goal, Breezer let a slapshot go from the point on the powerplay, which went off Patrick Sharp and fluttered passed the fooled Lalime. Brisebois was just inserted into the lineup after missing 11 games with a shoulder injury. The Hawks then took the lead, scoring 2 goals 18 seconds apart courtesy Robert Lang on the powerplay and Kris Versteeg. Markov was able to tie it up on a slapshot from the point on the powerplay, which allowed for Latendresse's OT winner.
The Habs' #1 powerplay in the league got it done tonight, and will see its stats rise even higher as they went 2-for-3 with the man advantage on the evening. The Hawks were 1-for-4. Chicago is struggling with 7 regulars out of their lineup, most notably forwards Toews and Williams, and defensemen Sopel and Wisniewksi. They have now lost 6 straight (0-4-2).
Montreal will now shift its focus to the 4-game road trip that begins Thursday in Boston. The Bruins lost tonight, a 1-0 heartbreaker to former forward Sergei Samsonov and the Hurricanes.