MONTREAL – Saku Koivu scored twice for the second game in a row, and the Montreal Canadiens scored four straight goals in the second period en route to a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

Michael Ryder scored a power-play goal in the first, the first of four Montreal goals with the man advantage. Alex Kovalev, Koivu and Sheldon Souray added power-play goals in the second. Maxim Lapierre added an empty-netter with 21 seconds left in the game.

Koivu scored Montreal’s only even strength goal in the second. It was the Canadiens captain’s fourth multiple-goal game in December, one short of the team record of five in one month set by Maurice Richard in 1944, and subsequently matched by Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt.

Sidney Crosby – who entered with 10 points in his last two games – had an off night by his recent standards, though he extended his points streak to eight games when he set up Alain Nasreddine’s first NHL goal on a delayed penalty to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead with 0.2 seconds left in the first.

Penguins rookie Evgeni Malkin scored his 16th goal during 4-on-4 play 12:05 in. Erik Christensen got his fifth goal in the third for Pittsburgh, which ended a four-game winning streak that fell one short of matching a season high.

AP-ES-12-16-06 2153EST


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