MONTREAL (CP) - Alex Kovalev and Saku Koivu scored in a shootout as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Florida Panthers 1-0 in a goaltenders' duel on Tuesday night. The 2-1 shootout advantage gave Montreal (14-6-3) a fourth win in its last five games.
Only Ville Peltonen could score in the shootout for the Panthers (8-13-5), who have only two wins in their last 11 games, including a 5-1 win over Montreal last week in Florida. Olli Jokinen and Joe Nieuwendyk were both stopped, while Michael Ryder failed to score for Montreal.
The Canadiens' 71st consecutive sellout crowd of 21,273 were given a battle between Montreal's Cristobal Huet and Florida's Alex Auld, who both earned shutouts. For Florida, it was a second straight 1-0 loss. Auld stopped 27 of 28 shots in a 1-0 defeat Saturday against Atlanta.
Regulation time ended in a 0-0 draw despite a total of 71 shots being fired on goal as Montreal outshot the Panthers 37-34 in regulation and 39-36 overall.
There were a few close calls; Auld and Huet both heard the ping of pucks hitting their goalposts.
Four minutes into the opening period, Guillaume Latendresse drilled a shot off the post on a rush, while Panthers Stephen Weiss and Rostislav Olesz hit pipes in the second frame.
And both goalies made their share of big saves, as Florida outshot Montreal 13-8 in the first period and the Canadiens had an 18-11 advantage in the second.
Both teams went all out for goals in the third, as Chris Gratton ripped a shot that went off Huet's glove and over the net and Tomas Plekanec was stoned by Auld on a solo rush to the net.