MONTREAL -Pierre Dagenais scored twice and Jan Bulis got a short-handed goal early in the third, sending the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

Dagenais, who scored just once in his first 20 games, had his first two-goal game of the season. He opened the scoring at 19:00 and tied it at 2 at 7:47 of the second, his third goal in two games.

Bulis, who hadn’t scored since Oct. 12, finished off a 2-on-1 with Steve Begin 4:35 into the third with Canadiens defenseman Mathieu Dandenault serving a delay-of-game penalty.

Los Angeles took a 2-1 lead early in the second on goals by Eric Belanger and Jeff Cowan 2:15 apart. The Kings, who lost 5-1 in Ottawa on Friday in a fight-filled game, extended their season-high losing streak to four.

The sellout crowd of 21,273 was on the case of Kings forward Sean Avery every time he set foot on the ice.

Avery, who was booed repeatedly and even had his name chanted, is extremely unpopular in the province of Quebec for saying earlier this year that a hit by Phoenix defenseman Denis Gauthier on Kings center Jeremy Roenick “was typical of most French guys in our league with a visor on, running around and playing tough and not back anything up.”

Avery later apologized, but was then accused of racism by Edmonton’s Georges Laraque, a Montreal native.

Canadiens center Mike Ribeiro assisted on both goals by Dagenais, who scored in Thursday’s 3-2 overtime loss to Buffalo.

Dagenais, who also scored the only goal in the first shootout in Montreal on Nov. 22, got his third of the season. He beat former Canadiens backup Mathieu Garon with a well-targeted shot into the top left corner.

Belanger tied it 1:17 into the second with his ninth goal. Cowan gave the Kings a 2-1 lead with his fourth at 3:32. Cowan fired a quick shot past goalie Jose Theodore when he found the puck at his feet as it struck him while he was standing in the slot.

The crowd buzzed when Avery joined a scrum as Belanger was given a boarding penalty at 6:10 after his check from behind sent Michael Ryder flying into the boards.

Dagenais gave fans reason to cheer moments later when he moved out of the corner along the goal line to take Ribeiro’s return pass and beat Garon through the pads with a quick, sharp-angled shot.

Notes: Roenick was sidelined by the flu for a second straight night. … The Kings are 0-3 on a four-game road trip that ends Tuesday in Toronto. … The Canadiens are 83-27-20 against Los Angeles. … Montreal has sold out each of its 15 home games. … Canadiens captain Saku Koivu missed his second straight game because of a groin injury. C Radek Bonk was also out with a similar ailment. … Begin has Montreal’s two other short-handed goals.

AP-ES-12-03-05 2144EST


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