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Canucks defeat Canadiens 3-2 in OT after blowing 2-0 third-period lead

10/31/2014 12:57 EDT | Updated 12/30/2014 05:59 EST
VANCOUVER - Daniel and Henrik Sedin weren't in top form on Thursday night, but the talented twins showed up when it mattered most.

Daniel Sedin took a delicate feed from brother Henrik off the rush and roofed a shot past Carey Price on the power play at 2:45 of overtime as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-2.

The winner came after Vancouver blew a 2-0 lead late in the third period — including Max Pacioretty's game-tying goal with the Sedins on the ice with less than three minutes to go in regulation.

"Our line can play better," said Henrik Sedin. "We really should have won this game after 60 minutes."

There were just five seconds left in an interference penalty assessed to Montreal defenceman Tom Gilbert when Daniel Sedin swooped in and ended what was an entertaining, fast-paced affair.

"When their game's not a good game it's still not a bad game," Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins said of his stars. "Maybe it wasn't quite to their standards but it was a pretty good game."

Added Daniel Sedin: "You should not give up a 2-0 lead at home (but) it happens. We stuck with our game plan and it paid off."

Nick Bonino and Brad Richardson also scored for Vancouver (7-3-0), which got 22 saves from Ryan Miller.

Alex Galchenyuk had the other goal for Montreal (8-2-1), while Price stopped 27 shots.

"I like the way we competed tonight," said Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien. "We never gave up and gave ourselves a chance to win this hockey game with the comeback."

Up 1-0 after two periods, Richardson stretched Vancouver's lead to two at 2:17 of the third off the rush, ripping a shot over Price's glove shortside a few minutes after Alexandre Burrows hit the post behind the Montreal goaltender.

The visitors cut the deficit to 2-1 at 12:11 when Galchenyuk tipped home is fourth of the season past Miller off a shot from P.K. Subban. The Canucks argued to the referees that Miller — who knows the Canadiens well from his time with the Buffalo Sabres — had been interfered with by Montreal's Brendan Gallagher in the crease.

The goal came much to the delight of the boisterous Canadiens fans in attendance, who were enjoying their team's only visit to Vancouver this season and were in full voice for most of the night.

"That was a fun game. You kind of don't like it, but you like it," Miller said of the atmosphere. "Toronto or the Habs, in Buffalo we got a lot of that. It's kind of cool. Hockey has such a deep following."

Montreal kept pushing and got its tying goal with 2:33 remaining when former Canucks forward Dale Weise made a nice pass to Pacioretty, who made no mistake from the slot for his fourth.

"I thought we played a pretty good third period for quite a bit of it," said Desjardins. "That's the way the game goes sometimes. Montreal is a good team. They're creative and they put lots of pressure on your defence."

After a scoreless first, the Canucks grabbed the lead at 8:29 of the second on a play that left the Canadiens fuming.

Montreal defenceman Alexie Emelin made a pass up the middle that was intercepted by Bonino to create a 2-on-1 the other way with Derek Dorsett. Burrows drilled an off-balance Emelin with a high check after he released the puck, appearing to make contact with his head.

There was no penalty on the play and as Emelin lay on the ice, Bonino finished off a nice passing play for his fourth of the season behind a helpless Price.

Emelin went to the locker-room for the rest of the period, but returned in the third.

"I was trying to finish my check and my intent was not to hurt him," said Burrows, who added he didn't think the hit was late. "Obviously you never want to hurt someone and I'm glad he came back.

"I'm not going to speculate on what people are going to say. My intent was not to hurt him."

Not surprisingly, Therrien took a decidedly different view.

"We all saw the hit to the head on Emelin and instead of having a power play of five minutes the puck is in your own net," said the coach. "That was a dirty hit to the head."

Vancouver's Shawn Matthias rang a shot off the post behind Price earlier in the period before Miller made a great save off Gallagher on a power play.

The Canadiens were coming off a 2-1 shootout victory over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, and Price had to be sharp to keep the deficit at just one in the dying seconds of the period, shooting out an arm to deflect a quick shot from Bonino out of play.

"We can't be upset with our effort tonight, I thought we competed hard," said Subban. "We had opportunities to win the hockey game, that's all you can ask."

Montreal recorded the game's first three shots, but it was Vancouver that had the first real chance when Dorsett cut in off the wing on a partial breakaway, only to lose control at the critical moment in front of Price.

Acquired in a trade with Vancouver last season, Weise nearly had a dream return four minutes in on another break, but couldn't get a shot away after taking a slash from Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieska.

Vancouver's Jannik Hansen saw his shot on a 2-on-1 stopped by Price at the other end moments later, but the Canadiens' goaltender saved his best work for the final flurry of the first period.

Chris Higgins fed Bonino right in front of Price, who had to stretch to stop the Canucks forward and was sharp again on Dan Hamhuis' buzzer-beater shot from the point.

That brought chants of "Carey! Carey!" from the Montreal fans who dotted the stands and drowned out their Canucks' counterparts with three raucous "Go Habs Go" chants in the opening 20 minutes alone.

"When you have an atmosphere like that and a team with that kind of tradition it's fun," said Desjardins. "At the same time you want to see how your guys respond and I think we responded pretty well."

Notes: Vancouver visits the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday before hosting the Nashville Predators on Sunday. ... Montreal welcomes Calgary on Sunday. ... The Canadiens host the Canucks on Dec. 9 in the clubs' only other meeting this season.

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