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Perreault scores twice in Canadiens' victory

12/19/2002

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Montreal Canadiens used a patient style of
play, strong goaltending from Jose Theodore, and a pair of goals
from Yanic Perreault to beat the New York Rangers.

Theodore stopped 41 shots in an outstanding effort that paced
the 3-1 victory Thursday night.

"He kept us in the game,'' Perreault said, "and gave us a
chance to win. He's a big part of our team.''

Perreault's second goal of the game and 16th of the season put
Montreal ahead 3-0 at 2:13 of the third period. With the Canadiens
on a power play, Doug Gilmour slid a cross-ice pass from the right
circle to Perreault, who wristed a shot past Mike Dunham from five
feet.

"I had some great chances,'' Perreault said. "It's good to
have a two-goal game. We're trying to play as patient as we can and
we will score some goals on our chances. Then we get a chance to
play with the lead, which is good for us.''

Gilmour assisted on both of Perreault's goals, giving him seven
points in the last three games.

"Dougie has been outstanding,'' Perreault said. "The team as a
whole has been playing very well over the last two weeks.''

The Canadiens absorbed a first-period onslaught from the
Rangers, who outshot them 14-6. Theodore was sharp, particularly on
a right-point blast from Tom Poti on a Rangers power play and a
close-in chance from Radek Dvorak at the buzzer.

"When you have 42 shots that gives you a chance,'' Rangers
coach Bryan Trottier said. "We had some good rebounds. You can
give credit to the goaltender. We had some good screens and those
are chances you generate.''

Montreal took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal at 10:27 of the
first period by Richard Zednik.

Zednik, standing with his back to the goal in the slot,
deflected a point shot from Patrice Brisebois for his 15th goal.
The shot was only the second of the game for the Canadiens.

Perreault gave Montreal a 2-0 lead at 15:18 of the second
period. After Dunham made a tough save on Gilmour, Perreault,
trailing the play, was able to slip the puck between the goalie's
pads.

Eric Lindros pulled New York within 3-1 at 11:04 of the third
period with his 10th of the season.

"If you're only going to score one goal,'' Trottier said, "it
means you have to be that much tighter on the penalty kill and in
the defensive zone.''

Game notes
Canadian singer Sass Jordan sang the national anthems for
Canada and the United States. ... New York defensemen Brian Leetch,
Dale Purinton and Sylvain Lefebvre were scratched and are on the
injured reserve list, as is forward Pavel Bure. ... Oleg Petrov was
scratched for Canadiens. ... The Rangers signed D Bryce Lampman.