Markov scores shootout winner in fantasy win over Hurricanes

Andrei Markov

Suffering Canadiens withdrawal? The Gazette has the answer with the ultimate fantasy experience as beat writer Pat Hickey and Gazette techie Eric Tobon employ EA Sports NHL 13 to produce The Season That Isn’t. Here’s how things might have looked in Monday night’s game between the Canadiens and the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena.

RALEIGH — Andrei Markov’s shootout goal was the difference Monday night as the Canadiens defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 at the PNC Arena.

“I fool the goaltenders because I don’t have any moves,” said the veteran defenceman. “I just shoot the puck.”

Second-period goals by Tomas Plekanec and David Desharnais gave the Canadiens 2-1 lead, but Jussi Jokinen forced overtime when he scored his second goal of the game at 17:31 of the third period. Jokinen had opened the scoring at 6:54 of the first period.

Plekanec got that one back when he scored off a scramble in front of the net after Cam Ward made saves on Brian Gionta and Max Pacioretty.

Desharnais, who was making only his second start since missing two weeks with an abdominal strain, started on the third line with Travis Moen and Brandon Prust, and the trio clicked as they produced a go-ahead goal at 13:17.

“The idea was to ease him back into the lineup,” head coach Michel Therrien said of Desharnais. “By the end of the game, we were using him on the power play and as a penalty-killer. I think we were all surprised when we saw that he played over 20 minutes.”

Plekanec was the fist Canadien in the shootout and he gave Montreal a 1-0 lead when he flipped a backhand into the top corner, but that was immediately matched by Jeff Skinner. Carey Price stopped brothers Eric and Jordan Staal to force the shootout to a fourth round and Markov connected with a 15-foot wrister. Price sealed the deal when he forced Alexander Semin to shoot wide.

The win gave the Canadiens a 3-2-1 record on their holiday road trip and they moved back into seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings.

phickey@montrealgazette.com

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