Luongo, Canucks come back to beat Canadiens in shootout

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The Canadian Press
12/9/2011 12:00:13 AM
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MONTREAL -- Cody Hodgson scored in regulation time and again in a shootout as the streaking Vancouver Canucks opened a five-game road trip with a comeback 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Hodgson was the only scorer in the shootout after the Canucks (17-10-1) erased a 3-0 deficit to post their eighth win in nine games.

Rookie defencemen Frederic St-Denis and Raphael Diaz and forward Erik Cole spotted Montreal a 3-0 lead by the 2:20 mark of the second period, but Vancouver stormed back with goals shorthanded by Mason Raymond, 4-on-4 by Hodgson and on a power play by Sami Salo.

The Canadiens (11-11-7) lost in a shootout for the third time in their last four games and for a second game in a row. Montreal is 1-5 in shootouts this season.

Montreal captain Brian Gionta left in the third period with an injury and did not return.

Salo tied the game with 4:40 left in regulation time on a blast from the point after Alexandre Burrows drew a cross-checking penalty on Lars Eller.

It was showdown between the Canadiens' Carey Price, a B.C. native, and Roberto Luongo, who is from Montreal. Price was a standout early and Luongo had strong moments later on as Canucks held a 31-23 shot advantage.

The Canucks outplayed Montreal through most of the first two periods but found themselves in a hole when Luongo let in three of his first nine shots.

It started with two near identical goals as St-Denis and Diaz. Both threw wrist shots from the point through traffic to score in the opening period.

At the other end of the ice, Price stood on his head as Montreal killed a Vancouver two-man advantage for 1:26, facing eight shots in all over the two penalties.

Only 2:20 into the second period, Cole blocked a Salo pass at the point, skated down the right wing and scored on a soft wrist shot.

Raymond, in only his third game since returning from a back injury suffered during the Stanley Cup final, got one back shorthanded as he took Jannik Hansen's pass and beat Price with a wrist shot at 8:37.

It was the fifth short-handed goal allowed this season by Montreal, and the first the Canucks have scored.

Raymond helped close the gap and he skated into the Montreal zone with the teams each down a man. His shot was blocked by the defence, but Hodgson followed with a goal on a wrist shot from the right circle 4:24 into the third.

Notes: Perry Pearn, fired as an assistant coach, was back at the Bell Centre in his new job as a pro scout for Montreal. ... The Canadiens scratched struggled defenceman Yannick Weber to dress St-Denis. ... Tomas Plekanec played his 499th game for Montreal, one short of a tie for 60th place in team history with John Ferguson. ... Chris Higgins missed a second game with a foot injury for Vancouver, while David Booth missed his first since a knee-check that will keep him out 4-to-6 weeks. Callup Bill Sweatt was used sparingly in his first NHL game.

Roberto Luongo Henrik Sedin (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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