Latendresse scores in OT to give Canadiens 4-3 win over Blackhawks.

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MONTREAL (AP)—Guillaume Latendresse got the Montreal Canadiens’ offense started, and brought it full circle by scoring their first overtime goal of the season at the Bell Centre.

Latendresse’s goal 3:18 into overtime gave Montreal a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night. He put Maxim Lapierre’s pass into an open left side to give the Canadiens their first home overtime win this season.

Montreal improved to 1-5 in non-regulation games at home, and 5-8 overall.

“I think it was important for us to get the two points and get a goal like that,” Latendresse said. “It was a great feeling. We had a lot of chances in the third period so it was fun to bury it at the end.”

Patrick Lalime stopped 34 shots for Chicago, which extended its season-high losing streak to six (0-4-2).

Andrei Markov, voted a starting defenseman for his first All-Star game earlier in the day, drew the Canadiens even at 3 with his 11th goal on a power play 8:04 into the second.

Saku Koivu opened the scoring with his eighth goal 4:22 in, and assisted on Patrice Brisebois’ power-play goal late in the first that put Montreal up 2-1.

Latendresse initiated the play that led to Koivu’s opening goal when he took the puck off Blackhawks rookie Patrick Kane in the left corner early in the first. Latendresse passed to Koivu, who cut across the goalmouth and deked Lalime before putting a backhand shot into the net off the right post.

“That was pretty much all about his effort on the forecheck,” Koivu said. “He got the puck in the corner and saw me in the high slot and made a great play.”

Cristobal Huet made 25 saves for the Canadiens, who were previously 0-1 at home in overtime, a 5-4 loss to Washington on Saturday. Montreal is 0-4 in shootouts at the Bell Centre.

Robert Lang and Kris Versteeg scored goals 18 seconds apart early in the second to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead.

Chicago’s Jack Skille scored his first career goal 5:46 into his fifth game.

Blackhawks coach Denis Savard joined Chicago legends Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Tony Esposito in a pre-game ceremony honoring the 82-year rivalry between the two “Original Six” teams.

“I’m always proud to return to Montreal,” said Savard, who had a team-record 131 points for the Blackhawks in 1987-88, and was a member of the Canadiens’ last Stanley Cup-winning team in 1993. “For those who were born here and have been a part of the Canadiens family, it’s special. It was a fun game. Unfortunately, we only got one point.”

Hall of Famers Henri Richard, Guy Lafleur, Yvan Cournoyer and Ken Dryden represented the Canadiens, who’ll be celebrating their franchise centennial in 2009.

Linesman Pierre Champoux had to leave 5:41 into the third after he was cut under his right eye when he was struck there by the puck on a dump-in by Montreal’s Francis Bouillon.

Champoux held a towel over his eyes and his forehead as he was helped off the ice by Canadiens trainer Graham Rynbend. He did not return.

“I guess it was coming in faster than I thought,” said Champoux, who was icing a welt under his right eye above a 3-inch vertical gash after the game.

He will have X-rays on Wednesday.

Skille tied it at 1 just 1:24 after Koivu’s goal when he put a rebound past Huet for his first NHL goal.

“I’m just excited about it,” Skille said. “I’m happy to get it off my back and I just hope my parents saw it.”

Lalime made a right pad stop 9:46 in on Mark Streit’s penalty shot, a short-handed opportunity that was protested by Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith.

Streit, moved from defense up to forward with Brisebois’ return to the lineup, was awarded the penalty shot after he was hauled down on a breakaway. Keith complained in vain because stickless Canadiens penalty killer Tom Kostopoulos jumped on him while he was down on the ice trying to keep the puck in the offensive zone.

“I don’t know what to say—the puck’s laying there, I tried to jump to keep it in and all of a sudden I thought I was tackled from behind,” Keith said. “Obviously, the refs saw something different. It’s a quick game and they made their decision. I was just happy Lalime was able to make the save on the penalty shot.”

Brisebois, back after missing 11 games with a right shoulder injury, beat Lalime with a fluttering shot from the point for his second goal at 17:13.

Lang tied it at 2 with a power-play goal 2:27 into the second, but Versteeg put Chicago up 3-2 at 2:45.


Former Blackhawks stars Steve Larmer, Al Secord and Eric Nesterenko were also introduced during the ceremony. Former captain Vincent Damphousse also represented Montreal, along with Marcel Bonin and Murray Wilson. … Skille is the sixth Blackhawks rookie to score his first career goal this season. … Canadiens C Corey Locke made his NHL debut.

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Goalie Team Shot Save
Cristobal Huet CHI 28 25
Patrick Lalime BUF 38 34