Montreal ties up series 1-1

Posted: Monday, May 06, 2002

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Montreal Canadiens wanted more hunger and hustle in Game 2 against Carolina. Mission accomplished -- with a lot of help from Jose Theodore.

Montreal captain Saku Koivu had a goal and an assist and Theodore stopped 45 shots as the Canadiens held off the Hurricanes 4-1 Sunday night to even the best-of-seven, second-round series 1-1.

The win by Montreal snapped Carolina's four-game home playoff winning streak and was in sharp contrast to its 2-0 opening loss. In Game 1, the Hurricanes were more scrappy and outhit the Canadiens.

Montreal was still outshot 46-16 Sunday, but the Canadiens were able to solve goalie Kevin Weekes for two first-period goals -- one on a great hustle play by Koivu -- to get a jump on Carolina and quiet its rowdy crowd.

The Canadiens then rode Theodore the rest of the way.

Bill Lindsay sealed it with an empty-net goal with 1:11 left, firing the puck nearly the length of the ice.

Weekes had two straight shutouts and a goals against average of 0.90 in the playoffs entering the game, but couldn't come up big for a fourth straight game since taking over for Arturs Irbe in the New Jersey series.

Game 3 will be played at the Molson Centre on Tuesday night.

Doug Gilmour's 60th career playoff goal on the power play 1:03 into the second gave the Canadiens a three-goal lead before Rod Brind'Amour's goal with 6.8 seconds left in the period drew the Hurricanes within 3-1 on a two-man advantage.

Erik Cole poked the puck past Theodore 1:33 into the third, but it clearly came after the whistle and was waved off by referee Mick McGeough. Carolina had several good scoring chances minutes later, but Kevyn Adams missed an open net short-handed and Theodore shut down Carolina's power play.

Carolina played without Jeff O'Neill, the team's top goal scorer the last two seasons. O'Neill was suspended for one game following his hit from behind in the series opener on Montreal's Sheldon Souray. Souray sustained a left shoulder injury but returned to his regular spot on defense in Game 2.

Weekes had a franchise-record scoreless streak that spanned 143 minutes and 55 seconds before allowing a bad goal 7:25 into the first to give Montreal some confidence.

Weekes got in front of what appeared to be a harmless shot from Sergei Berezin from the top of the circle. But just like early in Game 1, Weekes had problems with his rebounds. The puck dropped at his pads, and the Carolina defense relaxed.

It was all the window that Koivu needed as he dug the puck out and flipped it past Weekes.

Koivu set up Montreal's second goal when he drew four Carolina players toward him as he skated down the right wing, then fired a cross-ice pass to a streaking Andrei Markov, who had joined the rush from his defensive position.

Markov made one move to get Weekes out of position and then backhanded the puck into an open side as he fell to the ice for his first career postseason goal.



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