Tatar’s late goal lifts Canadiens over Blackhawks
CHICAGO (AP) — The Montreal Canadiens weren’t pleased with how they played Sunday. They were just happy to get a win.
Tomas Tatar scored the tiebreaking goal on a deflection with 1:17 left in the third period and the Canadiens beat the Blackhawks 3-2 for their third straight win.
Max Domi and Shea Weber scored in the first period to give Montreal an early lead, but Patrick Kane connected twice to tie the score for Chicago, which has lost seven straight and nine of its last 10.
“It’s a big two points for us, no matter how you look at it,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said “We found a way to win, but we’re not going to stand here and say we had a great game.”
The Blackhawks went 1 for 8 on the power play, and failed to muster much pressure during a key six-minute advantage early in the third.
“We didn’t play our best game, but a good team is going to find a way to win,” Tatar said. “I think that’s what we did.”
Carey Price, starting for the seventh straight game and 11th in the last 12, stopped 37 shots. He was sharp when needed.
“Our PK just did a tremendous job, and Carey was outstanding,” Tatar said. “He held us through all of (Chicago’s power plays) and the guys did a tremendous job.”
On the go-ahead goal, after a failed clearing attempt by the Blackhawks, Jeff Petry shot from the left point into traffic in front of the net. The puck went off the tip of Tatar’s stick and past a screened Corey Crawford, who finished with 25 saves.
The reeling Blackhawks fell to 3-11-2 under coach Jeremy Colliton, who replaced Joel Quenneville on Nov. 6.
“We were moving (the puck) pretty good on the power play, getting a lot of shots,” Kane said. “They did a good job of blocking shots and we couldn’t capitalize. ... Kind of the same old story though. We get behind and find ourselves back into the game and find a way to lose it late. Another tough loss.”
For the third straight time, Chicago fell behind by two goals, then came back to tie the game and ended up losing.
Domi and Weber scored 1:31 apart early in the first period to give the Canadiens a 2-0 lead about 7 1/2 minutes in. It marked the 10th straight game an opponent scored first against the Blackhawks.
“Tonight I thought we were a little soft at the start,” Colliton said, “but I thought we really turned it on as the game went on.”
Domi converted a rebound of Mike Reilly’s shot from the point 6:05 in after Reilly’s drive struck Andrew Shaw in front of the net and dropped to the ice. It was Domi’s team-leading 14th.
Weber, playing his sixth game after knee surgery, ripped in a rising screened shot from the top of the right circle for his third after taking a feed from Kenny Agostino.
Kane connected on the Blackhawks’ third power play of the first and cut it to 2-1 as he beat Price from the right circle with a screened shot on the short side with 59 seconds left in the period.
Chicago has been outscored 22-5 in the first period in the last 10 games and has had a lead only in two contests — one time was when the Blackhawks came from behind for a 5-4 overtime win at Florida on Nov. 24.
Kane’s second of the game and team-leading 15th tied it 2-all with 7:05 left in the second. Following a faceoff in the Montreal zone, Kane drifted into the right circle, took a pinpoint cross-ice pass from Dominik Kahun and one-timed a rising shot over Price’s shoulder.
Chicago wasted three power plays covering six consecutive minutes early in the third when Tatar was sent off for cross-checking at 1:58, then Jordie Benn got a double-minor for high-sticking Dylan Strome in the face at 3:58.
Montreal then failed to connect on two power plays, including a 55-second 5-on-3 advantage, midway through the third.
NOTES: Blackhawks C Artem Anisimov left the game in the third period. Colliton said he’s being watched under concussion protocol. . Chicago D Connor Murphy played his first game this season after recovering from a back injury. ... Blackhawks D Gustav Forsling, who was placed on IR (shoulder) retroactive to Dec. 5, missed his second game. ... Scrappy Canadiens and former Chicago F Andrew Shaw picked up an assist and has seven goals and eight assists in his last 15 games. Asked before the game the reason for Shaw’s hot streak, Canadiens coach Claude Julien joked, “Just his linemates. It has nothing to do with him. Yeah, he just goes to the front of the net and they feed him.” ... Chicago’s scratches were D Jan Rutta, LW Brendan Perlini and LW Chris Kunitz. Montreal sat LW Charles Hudon and C Matthew Peca.
Canadiens: At Minnesota on Tuesday night.
Blackhawks: At Winnipeg on Tuesday night.