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Zednik, Koivu lead Habs' offensive charge

1/28/2003

MONTREAL (AP) -- Richard Zednik learned a new move from observing
the NHL's leading scorer and put it to good use.

Zednik scored twice and Saku Koivu had three assists to lead the
Montreal Canadiens to a 6-3 victory Tuesday night over the Florida
Panthers.

Zednik, who had 10 of Montreal's 35 shots in the game, scored
his 23rd goal in the first period to set a new career high before
breaking a 3-3 tie in the second with a sharp-angled backhand shot
over Roberto Luongo for his second of the game.

"I've been trying that in practice and I knew I had to go
upstairs on him because he would go down, and I got a great shot,''
Zednik said. "I saw Markus Naslund score like that so I figured I
had to go upstairs, too.''

Patrice Brisebois, Andrei Markov, Randy McKay and
Mike Ribeiro
also scored for Montreal, which won its second straight.

"We played good down low,'' Zednik said. "We were cycling the
puck and their (defensemen) had a tough time with us. We
capitalized and we won the game.''

Viktor Kozlov, Stephane Matteau and Stephen Weiss scored for
Florida. The Panthers, who tied the game twice after trailing 2-0
and 3-2, have lost four of five.

"It's a tough loss tonight,'' Florida defenseman Sandis
Ozolinsh said. "The game is played for 60 minutes -- we all know
that -- but unfortunately today we were ready to only play for maybe
half the game.''

Luongo blamed himself for allowing Zednik's go-ahead goal with
4:14 left in the second.

"It was a good shot, but I wasn't square to him,'' Luongo said.
"I was trying to cover the short side and he put it far side.
You've got to be square to that so he has nothing to shoot at.''

McKay scored his sixth 7:49 into the third to put Montreal up
5-3, and Ribeiro got his third 8 minutes later to close out the
scoring.

Koivu assisted on both of Zednik's goals and Markov's power-play
goal earlier in the second as the Canadiens remained undefeated in
five games.

Montreal has recorded at least a point in each of its six games
under new head coach Claude Julien (3-0-2-1).

The Canadiens had won just two of 12 when Julien replaced Michel
Therrien, who was fired on Jan. 17.

"Now whatever happens, everybody is concentrating on the next
shift,'' Koivu said. "We are showing more emotion, we're more
confident and when you have your confidence, you'll get your
bounces.''

Brisebois opened the scoring 3:22 in when he blasted a slap shot
past Luongo for his fourth of the season.

The Canadiens had a second goal refused moments later when
referee Kevin Pollock ruled that Luongo had caught Ribeiro's shot
outside the net.

The game was delayed for four minutes as a video review proved
inconclusive before Zednik scored 5:11 into the period to put
Montreal up 2-0.

Kozlov got credit for his 12th goal on a power play at 11:28 to
draw the Panthers to within 2-1. The Canadiens had just killed the
first of two minor penalties with Florida holding a 5-on-3
advantage for 1:38 when Olli Jokinen's shot deflected off Kozlov
and into the net past goalie Jose Theodore.

Matteau drew the Panthers even with an unassisted goal at 16:50.

Tied at 2-2 after the first, Markov scored his 10th of the
season on a power play 7:01 into the second.

Weiss drew Florida even at 11:50 as he drove to the net after
drawing a faceoff back to defenseman Ivan Majesky and put a rebound
of Majesky's point shot into an open left side for his fifth goal.

Game notes
Panthers enforcer
Peter Worrell had words with McKay as
both were sent off for roughing 7:32 into the second. Worrell
fought with Canadiens D Stephane Quintal moments after returning to
the ice and both were given majors at 10:00. ... Zednik scored 22
goals last season. ... Therrien decided to remain with the
organization as a pro scout. ... Montreal C Joe Juneau missed the
game because of back spasms.