Series (Game 3 of 4)

Montreal leads 4-0

Game 1: Friday, October 11th
Game 2: Thursday, December 19th
Game 3: Thursday, January 9th
Game 4: Saturday, April 5th

Rangers 2

(16-22-1, 39 pts)

Canadiens 3

(17-16-4, 43 pts)

7:30 PM ET, January 9, 2003

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 T
NYR 2 0 02
MTL 2 0 13

S. Koivu (Canadiens - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

J. Theodore (Canadiens - G): Saves: 28, Save Pct.: .933

M. Hossa (Canadiens - F): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Newcomer Hossa helps Habs end winless skid

MONTREAL (AP) -- Marcel Hossa is doing his best to put his minor league days behind him -- for good.

Karl Dykhuis

Hossa scored his second goal in as many games since being recalled and lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday night.

Recalled from Hamilton of the AHL on Jan. 3, Hossa scored with 13:37 left in the third period as Montreal ended a season-high seven-game winless streak. The teams were tied 2-2 in the first period.

"I'm not thinking about Hamilton now,'' Hossa said. "I'm so excited to be here. I just want to be ready each game.''

Hossa, who moved to the Canadiens' top line alongside Saku Koivu and Richard Zednik in the third, struck the right post and got his rebound for a second shot. That one hit goalie Dan Blackburn and rolled over him into the net.

"You can tell he has skill and lots of speed,'' Koivu said. "He's really young, and so the question now is just to be consistent.''

Hossa -- the 21-year-old younger brother of Ottawa star Marian Hossa -- also scored in the Canadiens' 3-2 loss in New Jersey on Tuesday which gave Montreal a 0-4-1-2 mark on its longest road trip of the season.

"I skate hard, go to the net -- that's what they want me to do here,'' Hossa said. "I have to be ready to play with those guys and try to make room for them. It was exciting for me. They're giving me a very good chance to play on top lines and power plays so I have to take advantage of it.''

Defensemen Karl Dykhuis and Andrei Markov also scored for the Canadiens, who hadn't played at home since a 6-2 win over Buffalo on Dec. 21.

"It was a huge game for us,'' Koivu said. "There were some games on the road that we didn't win where we probably played better, but no one was thinking about what would happen if we lost the two points. They were huge for us. It wasn't pretty, we didn't play that well, but we did what we had to do.''

Matthew Barnaby and Jamie Lundmark scored for New York, 4-10-2-1 in its last 17 games.

"Montreal played just good enough to beat us,'' Rangers center Bobby Holik said. "They didn't play great, neither did we. I don't think it was their best game but they played well enough to beat us, so I don't know what that says about them or what that says about us.''

Canadiens general manager Andre Savard was fined $50,000, and coach Michel Therrien was hit for $25,000 by the NHL earlier in the day for confronting referee Kerry Fraser after Tuesday's game.

Savard and Therrien shouted at Fraser, who disallowed a Montreal goal in the first period and allowed Joe Nieuwendyk's game-winning, third-period goal even though Canadiens goaltender Jeff Hackett was knocked down by the Devils' Jeff Friesen.

Savard had to be physically restrained from going into the officials dressing room in New Jersey.

"I don't have much to say regarding the incident,'' Therrien said. "We respect the NHL's decision.''

Barnaby opened the scoring 3:52 in when he deflected defenseman Tom Poti's point shot past goalie Jose Theodore for his seventh goal.

Dykhuis tied it at 10:52 when his rising wrist shot went off Blackburn's glove and fell behind him into the net.

"It was a screened shot and I just didn't see it until it got right to me, and I just got a piece of it,'' Blackburn said.

Markov got his eighth at 14:22 as he blasted a slap shot over Blackburn's right shoulder from the left circle after taking a pass from Saku Koivu.

Lundmark tied it 51 seconds later, scoring off Mark Messier's pass at 15:13.

Game notes

Rangers C Petr Nedved watched the game from the press box as he missed his fourth consecutive game because of a hip flexor injury. He is day-to-day. ... Hossa, who had 18 goals and 30 points in 36 games with Hamilton this season, had three goals and one assist in 10 games with Montreal last season. ... Canadiens LW Doug Gilmour, who missed his fourth straight game, had an MRI on Thursday which revealed swelling in his lower back.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press