CHICAGO (AP) — Philip Kurashev scored 2:24 in overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks beat Montreal 3-2 on Thursday night, leaving the defending Eastern Conference champion Canadiens dead in the NHL final.
Montreal have dropped five in a row and have gone 1-9-3 in their last 13 games. The Canadiens are 7-24-5 on aggregate, trailing the Arizona Coyotes for the worst record in hockey since losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Dominic Kubalik and Patrick Kane also scored for Chicago, which finished third in a row. Marc-Andre Fleury intercepted 27 shots.
For Montreal, Jeff Petrie and Mike Hoffman scored and Sam Montembault intercepted 28 shots.
Kurashev piled into Montembolt’s crease during overtime and put the puck into the goal as the net came out of its bog. A replay review confirmed that Puck crossed the goal line first and was involved in the Chicago play.
Kane tied it for 2 on the power play, ending his 13-game goal dry 2:21 with a deep-angle wrist shot.
Montreal had only two shots on goal in the first period, but Petrie’s first goal of the season and Hoffmann’s first goal in 14 games resumed to take the lead in the second.
Chicago dominated the first period with 13 shots, but only Kubalik beat Montembolt, with a wrist shot at the breakaway at 7:42.
Each team was 1 out of 4 in the power play. … Montreal defenseman Chris Wideman was suspended a game without pay by the NHL on Wednesday for a head-butt against Boston forward Eric Houla. He would forfeit $3,750. … with goalkeeper Jake Allen due to an undisclosed injury, the Canadiens called in Cayden Primau from the taxi squad to support Montembolt and brought goalkeeper Michael McNiven in the taxi squad from Laval. … Lucas Reichl of Chicago played his first NHL game. He was the Blackhawks’ top pick in the 2020 draft, being voted 17th overall. …Forward Alex Debrincat was the lone Blackhawks named in the Central Division All-Star team. Forward Nick Suzuki was the only Canadian selected for the Atlantic Division team. This is the first NHL All-Star game for each.
Coming and going of COVID
Canadiens defenseman Kale Klagg breaks out of COVID-19 protocol and rejoins team. … Blackhawks forwards Dylan Strom and Kirby Dachs moved to protocol, while forwards Brandon Heigl and Sam Lafferty were dropped from protocol and placed on the roster.
Montreal continued its six-game tour to Arizona on Monday. Saturday’s home game with New Jersey has been postponed due to COVID-19-triggered provincial restrictions on attendance in Quebec.
Chicago hosts Anaheim on Saturday before moving to Seattle on Monday.