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Canadiens hold off Thrashers
Montreal Canadiens’ Tom Kostopoulos (6) is knocked down in front of Atlanta Thrashers goaltender Johan Hedberg, by Thrashers’ Todd White (12) in the first period on Tuesday in Montreal. - photo by Ryan Remoriz

Thrashers at Islanders

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: New York

TV, radio: SportSouth (Charter channel 36); 680-AM

Web site:

MONTREAL Andrei Kostitsyn scored with 5:11 remaining and the Montreal Canadiens recovered from blowing a three-goal lead earlier in the third period to beat the Atlanta Thrashers 5-4 on Tuesday night.

Kostitsyn, who scored against Johan Hedberg, helped set up two of Montreal’s first three goals as the Canadiens carried a 3-0 lead into the third period.

Ron Hainsey scored twice as Atlanta netted three goals in less than a minute to erase their 3-0 deficit 7:27 into the third.

The Thrashers broke two franchise records for fastest goals. They scored three times within 59 seconds, including two seven seconds apart by Hainsey and Chris Thorburn.

Hainsey, a former first-round pick of the Canadiens, drew Atlanta within 3-1 when he drove a slap shot past Carey Price from the top of the slot at 6:28.

He got credit for his second straight goal — his fifth of the season — on a power play 52 seconds later. It stood up to a lengthy video review supporting referee Tim Peel’s ruling that Price failed to stop the loose puck with his glove.

The Thrashers struck again after the ensuing faceoff when Thorburn took Marty Reasoner’s pass and beat Price with a shot from the right side.

Robert Lang scored into an empty net at 18:45 to increase the lead to 5-3, but Justin Williams scored with Hedberg pulled at 19:40 as the Thrashers got within one again.

Matt D’Agostini scored his first NHL goal in the first period and Price stopped 22 shots.

D’Agostini put a rebound of Kostitsyn’s shot past Hedberg from the right edge of the crease 16:21 in.

Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Markov added goals in the second period as Montreal improved to 2-0 on its franchise-record, seven-game homestand.

Plekanec scored his sixth goal 14:22 into the second to put the Canadiens ahead 2-0.

An apparent goal by Alex Tanguay moments later was disallowed by referee Tom Kowal, who ruled that Maxim Lapierre was in the crease.

Markov made it a three-goal lead with a power-play goal at 19:04.

Atlanta has lost four in a row (0-3-1), and six of seven.

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