ALSO ON SLAM!
Saturday, November 27, 1999
CANADIENS 2, Canucks 1
Canadiens win fourth in a row
MONTREAL (CP) -- The Montreal Canadiens have been unstoppable since tasting last place in the Eastern Conference.
Sergei Zholtok scored with less than eight minutes left in the third period to lift the Canadiens to their fourth consecutive win, 2-1 Saturday night over the Vancouver Canucks.
Since dropping to 4-14-1-1 after losing at Nashville on Nov. 18 to begin a four-game road trip, Montreal won its next three games in Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Jose.
"I think that's the biggest thing we've learned over the past few games -- whatever the score is -- we still continue to play the same game, from the first to the last minute and I think it's paid off,"""Zholtok said.
Zholtok, who also assisted on Karl Dykhuis's first-period goal, took a pass from Dainius Zubrus and put a backhander past goaltender Garth Snow at 12:20 of the third to break a 1-1 tie with his sixth goal of the season.
"It was basically a three-on-one break and so I just passed the puck to Zubie and went to the net," Zholtok said. "He returned it to me, I faked a shot and (put it through the) five hole."
Snow, who made 20 saves, acknowledged Zholtok's deke caught him off guard.
"I would have loved to get that last goal back," Snow said. "Zholtok made a really good move on me -- I wasn't expecting it."
The loss left Vancouver, which leads the Northwest Division with a 10-8-6-1 record, winless in its last four games.
"We're still going home from what hasn't been a very successful road trip in first place," Snow said.
Andrew Cassels scored his sixth goal of the season at 6:34 of the third to tie the game for Vancouver, ending goaltender Jose Theodore's shutout streak at 91 minutes 52 seconds. Theodore also finished with 20 saves.
Theodore has played every minute for Montreal since relieving starting goalie Jeff Hackett with 7:24 left in the loss at Nashville.
"It's a good chance for me to show what I can do," Theodore said. "The team played really well. I'm just trying to do my job and everybody did their job, that's how we win games."
Three fights broke out in the first period, including two within the first minute of the game.
Vancouver's Donald Brashear squared off with Jim Cummins 32 seconds into the contest and Montreal's Aron Asham took on Dave Scatchard just 18 seconds later.
And Canucks defenceman Ed Jovanovski renewed acquaintances with Shayne Corson -- who was suspended for six games last season after following Jovanovski into the Vancouver dressing room after they had fought at GM Place on March 27 -- to round out the night's card at 15:24 of the first.
"I'd be lying if I didn't say that it was something that bothered me last year," Corson said. "But fighting's part of the game and that's it, it's over and it's done with.
"He stood in there like a man. He's had fights before and I've had fights before. It was a pretty good bout and now it's over and done with."
Neither team managed a shot until Vancouver's Bill Muckalt tested Theodore 7:30 into the game.
Montreal took the initial lead on Dykhuis's third of the season at 8:53 of the first. Dykhuis got to a rebound in the slot off Zholtok's shot and snapped a wrist shot past Snow's right.
Cassels tied the game when he jumped on Steve Kariya's pass from behind the Montreal net and snapped a shot from the slot past Theodore 6:34 into the third.