Final SO

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Nashville leads 1-0

Game 1: Saturday, December 1st
Predators5Final
SO
Canadiens4

Predators 5

(13-9-2, 28 pts)

Canadiens 4

(13-9-4, 30 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 1, 2007

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 SO T
NSH 0 0 4 15
MTL 2 1 1 04

M. Erat (Predators - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

G. Latendresse (Canadiens - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

D. Legwand (Predators - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

Habs blow three-goal lead, get beat by Preds in shootout

Associated Press

MONTREAL (AP) -- Radek Bonk returned to Montreal and brought his new team back, too.

Bonk and Martin Erat scored in the shootout after Nashville erased a three-goal deficit in the third period, and the Predators beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 Saturday night.

Bonk, who spent the last two seasons with Montreal, tied the game with 46.8 seconds remaining in regulation. Making his first shootout attempt with Nashville, Bonk put a shot through Cristobal Huet's pads on Nashville's first round in the tiebreaker.

"Playing here, I thought it would be really good for him to get it going and throw someone different than we had been using," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.

Erat put a shot over Huet's glove to convert the Predators' second shot.

Backup goalie Dan Ellis, beaten by Saku Koivu on Montreal's second attempt, poke-checked the puck away on Andrei Kostitsyn's attempt. That clinched the win for the Predators, who trailed 3-0 and 4-1 and scored four times in the third.

"It was almost a desperation type of poke-check," Ellis said. "He had sold me a little bit on that hard fake and I was just trying to get something out there to try to get a piece of it and he lost the puck. I don't think I even touched it, and it went into the corner. It turned out to be a good win for us."

Nashville scored three straight after falling behind 4-1 with 9:19 remaining to send the game to overtime.

Jed Ortmeyer scored a short-handed goal at 8:40 to make it 3-1 before Montreal's Guillaume Latendresse got his second of the game at 10:41. That came just 8 seconds after Jason Arnott's roughing penalty expired and it restored the Canadiens' three-goal margin.

David Legwand made it 4-2 with his seventh goal at 12:26 and Greg de Vries cut the margin to one when he scored for the second straight game at 16:55.

"It just showed how resilient our team can be," Trotz said. "They score right at the end of that power play and we stayed with it."

Bonk tied it at 4 with a power-play goal with Ellis pulled for an extra attacker.

"There was a scramble and I really liked the fact that David Legwand had the smarts and the feel that there were a lot of people in that crease area and he threw it out to the point," Trotz said. "[Marek] Zidlicky got it over to Bonk and he had great composure and made the move to get it around Huet."

On Thursday, Nashville blew its fourth lead of the night in Ottawa with less than a minute remaining in regulation before Erat scored the winner with 22.2 seconds left in a wild 6-5 victory over the Senators.

Montreal has lost four of five, claiming its only standings points over that stretch in Tuesday's 4-3 shootout win in Toronto.

"The players that are supposed to do it for us right now are not doing it, and we can't keep losing leads like that in the third period, that's not normal," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "I mean, it can happen once but it happens way too often right now."

Tomas Plekanec had a goal and an assist, and Alex Kovalev had two assists in the first period as Carbonneau got early results from drastic line changes made in the wake of Friday's 4-0 loss in New Jersey.

Carbonneau's shake-up saw the Canadiens' usual top line spread throughout the lineup as left wing Christopher Higgins joined Plekanec and Kovalev on one line. Struggling right winger Michael Ryder played with Mikhail Grabovski and Kostitsyn on another, leaving captain Koivu centering Bryan Smolinski and Mark Streit, who moved up from defense.

Plekanec assisted on Higgins' 10th goal midway through the first period before adding his eighth of the season at 13:39 on an innocuous shot from the right side that chased Nashville starter Chris Mason.

Latendresse scored on Ellis midway through the second to put Montreal up 3-0. He added his second of the game in the third.

Higgins was in the right spot to open the scoring 9:02 in, slapping home a loose puck at his feet. Kovalev had carried the puck down the right side and lost it at the goal mouth when it deflected off defenseman Greg Zanon's skate.

Kovalev got his second straight assist as Plekanec's shot from the right side slid under Mason's pad, prompting Trotz to summon Ellis with Montreal leading 2-0.

Latendresse made it a 3-0 lead 9:30 into the second when he took a fine pass from Kyle Chipchura and beat Ellis for his sixth goal.

Game notes


The Predators had one minor penalty in each of the first two periods while the Canadiens went unpenalized in both. ... Nashville is 2-2 in shootouts. ... RW Tom Kostopoulos and LW Steve Begin were healthy scratches for Montreal.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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