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Habs Ride 3-Goal 1st Period To Win Over Rangers

MONTREAL (AP) Roman Hamrlik and Tomas Plekanec had power-play goals, and the Montreal Canadiens scored three times in a span of 2:46 in the first period to beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on Saturday night.

James Wisniewski assisted on both power-play goals. He set up Hamrlik's tying goal 13:19 in and Plekanec's 14th goal, which made it 2-1, at 14:50. Andrei Kostitsyn scored Montreal's final goal at 16:03.

Carey Price made 31 saves for the Canadiens, who beat the Rangers 2-1 in New York on Tuesday. Montreal, which lost to Pittsburgh on Thursday, is on a 5-1-1 run.

Mats Zuccarello drew the Rangers within one 6:57 into the third. Brian Boyle, who scored his 15th goal, was denied from netting the tying goal moments later on a pad save by Price. The Canadiens goalie also made a sprawling stop on Wojtek Wolski's backhand with less than 5 minutes remaining.

Price made several more stops in the final minute after Montreal defenseman Hal Gill was called for hooking Boyle behind the Canadiens net with 1:05 left in the third.

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 38 shots for New York, which had scored just one goal in each of its previous two games - including a 1-0 win Thursday over NHL-leading Vancouver.

Hamrlik drew Montreal even at 1 with his fourth goal after New York's Brandon Dubinsky was sent off for roughing. The veteran defenseman drove a slap shot from the point that struck Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi on its way past Lundqvist.

Mike Sauer was serving New York's second penalty for tripping 1:31 later when Plekanec put the Canadiens up 2-1. The Montreal center stopped P.K. Subban's pass with his right skate and snapped a shot into the right side of the net.

Kostitsyn increased the lead to 3-1 with his first goal in 10 games. He drove to the slot and one-timed Jeff Halpern's pass into the top of the net for his 11th goal, and first since Dec. 23.

Lundqvist drew a roughing penalty at 17:40 of the second after he jumped on Max Pacioretty and threw a punch with his blocker. The forward, who was pushed into Lundqvist by Dubinsky, was given a double minor for closing his hand on the puck. Dubinsky and Montreal captain Brian Gionta were given roughing penalties.

Boyle gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead 6:58 in when he jammed home a loose puck in the crease from the side of the net.

NOTES: Rangers coach John Tortorella used his timeout before a faceoff in Montreal's zone with 1:22 remaining. ... Canadiens LW Michael Cammalleri returned after missing two games because of strep throat.

© 2011 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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