Chicago Blackhawks great Bobby Hull is flanked by Canadiens Hall of Famers Guy Lafleur (left) and Yvan Cournoyer before last night’s game.
Christinne Muschi, Reuters
Updated Wednesday at 6:40 a.m. with Gazette coverage
Through 82 years and 625 games, you’ve usually been able to count on the Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks to serve up an entertaining game of hockey.
The Original Six rivals were true to form Tuesday night at the Bell Centre, on a special evening when the Canadiens paid tribute to their grand old competitor from the Windy City.
With a whole gaggle of Hall of Famers in the house, including Chicago legends Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Tony Esposito, Guillaume Latendresse sent the local fans home deliriously happy, converting a cross-ice pass from Maxim Lapierre at 3:18 of overtime to give the Canadiens a 4-3 win.
The Canadiens put a dent in their malaise at home. The Habs, 21-13-8 overall, are now 8-7-5 at the Bell Centre.
Montreal took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, getting goals from captain Saku Koivu, his eighth of the season, and defenceman Patrice Brisebois, his second as he returned from injury, wrapped around one by Chicago’s Jack Skille.
Montreal had a chance to make it 3-1 when Mark Streit was awarded a penalty shot after being hauled down on a shorthanded breakaway, but he failed to beat Chicago netminder Patrick Lalime.
The ’Hawks tied it up then went ahead with two quick ones in the second period, goals by Robert Lang on the power play and Kris Versteeg at even strength coming 19 seconds apart.
But newly minted all-star Andrei Markov blasted home a power-play goal almost nine minutes later to again even things up heading into the third. It was Markov’s 11th of the year, and proved to be the last goal of regulation time.
It was an eventful afternoon at the Bell Centre, Canadiens rookie goalie Carey Price and first-year forward Kyle Chipchura shipped to the farm in Hamilton with netminder Jaroslav Halak and rookie forward Corey Locke coming east.
Habs head coach Guy Carbonneau made Mathieu Dandenault a healthy scratch to make room for Locke.
The Canadiens leave later today for Boston, where they’ll play the Bruins tomorrow. The four-game road trip continues with Saturday and Tuesday stops in New York – first the Rangers, then the Islanders – followed by a contest next Thursday in Atlanta. The Habs return home on Saturday, Jan. 19 to face Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins.
Guillaume Latendresse converts Maxim Lapierre’s pass behind Chicago goalie Patrick Lalime for the game-winning goal tonight at the Bell Centre.
André Ringuette, NHLI via Getty Images