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Habs beat Pens in OT for 2nd time in 3 nights

11/21/2002

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- With all their dangerous scorers, the
Pittsburgh Penguins wouldn't seem to be the ideal team to take to
overtime twice in three nights.

With the Penguins in an extended slump, the Montreal Canadiens
got them just at the right time.

Andrei Markov scored the winning goal as the Canadiens beat the
Penguins in overtime again, winning 3-2 Wednesday.

Despite Jan Hrdina's two goals, Pittsburgh fell to 0-3-2-2
during a seven-game winless streak that includes a 5-4 overtime
loss in Montreal on Monday.

"It's getting a little frustrating,'' said Jan Hrdina, who
scored both Penguins goals. "But we know it's going to turn for
us.''

Markov scored the decisive goal at 2:25, dangling the puck on
his stick as he skated across the slot before beating
Jean-Sebastien Aubin with a hard wrist shot from the edge of the
left circle.

"He is playing with a lot of confidence right now,'' Montreal
coach Michel Therrien said. "He is a real bull on the ice right
now, he is controlling the puck and he has a great future ahead of
him.''

Before that, Yanic Perreault and Richard Zednik scored 38
seconds apart in the second period to give Montreal a 2-1 lead that
lasted only 2½ minutes, until Hrdina got his second of the game.

Montreal won its third in a row, after losing two straight, and
has won five of seven.

"We really concentrated on playing well in our zone and it
started from there,'' the Canadiens' Joe Juneau said. "Their
goalie made some great saves -- I can think of six or seven great
saves he made. If it wasn't for him, the score would have been much
different.

"Obviously, they have a lot of talent -- but we do, too, and
we're playing real well right now.''

Montreal is 7-0-1 in its last eight games in Pittsburgh and
2-0-1 against the Penguins this season. Montreal is unbeaten in six
overtime games, tying four times, while Pittsburgh already has lost
three times while going winless in six overtime games.

Is Penguins coach Rick Kehoe worried about all those lost
points?

"We are getting to overtime and whatever the problem is, we are
going to have to correct it,'' he said. "We played hard and we got
a point. It's just that they (Montreal) are in our conference and
picked up two. We have to find a way to get over that hump in
overtime.''

After the teams played an entertaining, penalty-filled game
Monday, most of the action Wednesday was contained in a
three-minute flurry of the second period.

"We played very well defensively, we didn't give up too much to
the Penguins,'' Therrien said. "This is a tough team to play
against with all of their talent. If it were not for Aubin, it
would have been a different scenario and a different game because
we believed we deserved to win.''

Perreault tied it at 1 for Montreal with his ninth of the
season, diverting Doug Gilmour's pass from the left-wing boards to
the low slot onto his stick to beat Aubin. Gilmour also assisted on
Markov's fourth goal.

Given a lift by Perreault's goal after playing a lethargic
opening period and a half, the Canadiens quickly made it 2-1 after
Ian Moran went to the penalty box for tripping.

After a shot ricocheted off the left post, Zednik grabbed the
loose puck in the slot and swept it into the net for his ninth goal
-- Montreal's fifth in two games against Pittsburgh on special
teams. The Canadiens scored three times on the power play and once
short-handed Monday.

Hrdina tied it 2½ minutes later with his second goal of the
game, putting a backhander from the slot past Jeff Hackett as
several players fought for the puck off a rebound. Hrdina also
scored in the first period, with Mario Lemieux assisting on both
goals.

There were no goals and no penalties in the third period, a
contrast to Monday night when the teams combined for eight special
teams goals and 17 penalties in a game in which only one
even-strength goal was scored, Donald Audette's winner in
overtime.

Game notes
With Montreal goalie Jose Theodore out with a hip injury,
Hackett made his ninth start. Theodore has made 11. Hackett made 23
saves; Aubin made 32. ... Aubin made his first start in four games
despite being 1-5 against Montreal during his career. ... The crowd
of 13,549 was the second smallest at Mellon Arena this season, with
the only smaller crowd being the 12,161 who saw the
Thrashers-Penguins game Oct. 16.