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Associated Press
10/18/2006 11:58:01 PM

CHICAGO (AP) - Two of Chicago's key offseason acquisitions came through Wednesday night.

Martin Havlat and Bryan Smolinski scored to help the Blackhawks beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. Havlat and Smolinski were acquired from the Ottawa Senators in a three-team deal in July.

Smolinski put Chicago in front 2-1 just 2 minutes into the third, scoring from the slot after taking Tony Salmelainen's centering pass from behind the net. Jeff Hamilton set up the play by forcing Montreal's Janne Niinimaa to turn over the puck.

"It was a great game and they're a good team that had their chances," Smolinski said. "It doesn't matter who scores, it's still two points."

Havlat, recorded his seventh goal and NHL-leading 13th point for Chicago (4-2-0), but was held to one point in a game for the first time this season. He's tied for the league goal-scoring lead with Buffalo's Chris Drury and New York Ranger Brendan Shanahan.

"I think every win gives you more confidence," Havlat said. "We're were very happy to get the second goal. Tony Salmelainen made a great play and 'Smoke' was in the right place at the right time.

"Then we controlled the game defensively, which was pretty good."

After Smolinski scored, the Blackhawks held on and handed the Canadiens (3-1-2) their first regulation loss. Nikolai Khabibulin had 28 stops for Chicago.

Chris Higgins, the Canadiens' leading scorer, recorded his fourth goal and David Aebischer made 21 saves for Montreal.

The Blackhawks survived the final 1:58 of the third playing short-handed. Aebischer was on the bench for a sixth attacker for the final 57 seconds.

"I think at the end we had a couple of good chances to tie the game," Aebischer said. "I mean it's 2-1 and we had a power play there.

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