Final OT

Series (Game 3 of 4)

Montreal leads 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, October 22nd
Game 2: Monday, November 18th
Game 3: Wednesday, November 20th
Game 4: Saturday, December 28th

Canadiens 3

(9-6-0, 22 pts)

Penguins 2

(7-5-3, 20 pts)

7:30 PM ET, November 20, 2002

Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 OT T
MTL 0 2 0 13
PIT 1 1 0 02

J. Hrdina (Penguins - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

J. Hackett (Canadiens - G): Saves: 23, Save Pct.: .920

J. Aubin (Penguins - G): Saves: 32, Save Pct.: .914

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

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.

Andrei Markov

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 2 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 2 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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press