MONTREAL – Pierre Dagenais scored the winning goal and Jose Theodore stopped Atlanta forwards Ilya Kovalchuk, Peter Bondra and Marian Hossa in the first shootout in Montreal to lead the Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Thrashers.

Dagenais’ shot beat Steve Shields between the legs on Montreal’s second shootout opportunity after Michael Ryder missed high with the Canadiens’ first shot.

Theodore, who stopped Kovalchuk on a breakaway in overtime, made a glove save on Hossa on Atlanta’s third attempt. The sellout crowd cheered as the Canadiens goalie held his glove hand up ahead of the goal line while sprawling back into the net.

Theodore drew a roar 3:27 into overtime and heard chants of “Theo! Theo! Theo!” when he turned away Kovalchuk, who scored his 15th goal in the second period on a clear breakaway.

Kovalchuk has 14 goals and 13 assists in 14 games since scoring once in his first four games.

The Thrashers outshot Montreal 38-30, including 14-8 in the third.

Peter Bondra also scored for Atlanta, which tied the game twice in the second.

Ryder scored his team-leading 10th goal to open the scoring early in the second on the first of the Canadiens’ two power-play goals. Ryder also assisted on Andrei Markov’s goal later in the period.

Theodore, bothered lately by a groin injury, stopped 36 shots in regulation, including 14 in the third. Shields made 29 saves overall.

Atlanta went 0-for-12 on the power play, including five opportunities in the first period. The Thrashers had four power plays in the third, including one with 3:35 remaining when Montreal defenseman Mike Komisarek was penalized for hooking.

Ryder opened the scoring 1:36 into the second with the first of two Montreal power-play goals in the period. Ryder got his team-leading 10th goal when he drove a loose puck off a scramble past Shields into a wide-open right side.

Kovalchuk tied it at 5:43. The speedy Russian winger received countryman Slava Kozlov’s pass and drove in on Theodore, flipping a shot over the Canadiens goalie’s pad to even it at 1.

Montreal had a great opportunity to take the lead again midway through the period when defenseman Craig Rivet hit the left post shortly after he came out of the penalty box.

Another Canadiens defenseman made the most of his chance on another power play later in the period as Markov drove a slap shot past Shields from the left point to make it 2-1 at 15:35, just five seconds after Montreal had a 5-on-3 advantage for 25 seconds.

Bondra drew the Thrashers even again, and this time it took just 24 seconds.

The unassisted effort occurred when Canadiens forward Radek Bonk’s backhand clearing attempt was intercepted by Bondra, who fired a quick shot past Theodore at 15:59.

Notes: Thrashers C Marc Savard ended a six-game point streak. Savard, who has 23 assists this season, had one goal and 14 assists during the run. … Canadiens D Sheldon Souray didn’t play because of a groin injury. He is day to day. … Montreal hasn’t scored on a 5-on-3 advantage this season. … The Canadiens have sold out each of their 13 home games this season.


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