Halak, Canadiens stop Canucks' 7-game win streak

MONTREAL (AP) — Jaroslav Halak made 45 saves, Sergei Kostitsyn, Maxim Lapierre and Tomas Plekanec scored, and the Montreal Canadiens snapped Vancouver's seven-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory over the Canucks on Tuesday night.

Plekanec scored midway through the third to put Montreal up by two after Kostitsyn and Lapierre scored in the first to stake the Canadiens to a 2-1 lead.

Halak, who stopped 34 shots in Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss in Ottawa, started after recording a loss for the first time in 10 such occasions this season.

Montreal had lost three in a row and six of eight (2-4-2).

Mikael Samuelsson and Ryan Kesler scored power-play goals for Vancouver, which won 5-3 in Toronto on Saturday to open its NHL-record 14-game road trip.

Roberto Luongo stopped 25 shots. Luongo, a member of Canada's Olympic hockey team, was pulled after allowing three goals in the first period against the Maple Leafs.

He stretched out his left pad to deny Plekanec's first shot on a backhand, but the Montreal center scored to put the Canadiens up by two 9:14 into the third on a second effort shot that Luongo got a piece of, but was unable to prevent the puck from floating into the left side of the net.

Kesler drew the Canucks within one at 14:10 when he batted home his 14th goal from the edge of the crease.

With Luongo pulled and Vancouver pressing for the tying goal, Alexander Burrows was penalized for interfering with Halak with 39 seconds remaining in regulation.

The Canucks' trip extends over two legs in order to prepare GM Place to host the Olympic hockey tournament, including their current eight-game road swing leading up to the Winter Olympics, and another six-game trip following the games.

The Canadiens were without leading goal scorer Mike Cammalleri for the first time this season. Cammalleri, who has 26 goals and 48 points, will be sidelined for about six weeks because of a knee injury suffered Saturday when he fell awkwardly into the boards after he was checked by Ottawa's Anton Volchenkov.

Kostitsyn gave Montreal a 1-0 lead with his second goal of the season 5:56 in. Kostitsyn took a pass from Benoit Pouliot on the right side and cut across to the slot, where he beat Luongo with a low wrist shot.

Samuelsson drew Vancouver even during a 4-on-3 advantage at 8:26 when he drove a slap shot past Halak from the point.

Lapierre restored the Canadiens' one-goal lead late in the first. Mathieu Darche put a backhand shot toward the net from a sharp angle and Lapierre pounced on the loose rebound to fire the puck into the left side of the net at 18:04.

NOTES: Canucks D Sami Salo assisted on Samuelsson's goal in his return to the lineup after missing four games because of a groin injury. ... Vancouver D Willie Mitchell (concussion) missed his seventh game in a row. ... The Canadiens announced earlier in the day that Cammalleri would not require surgery. ... Halak recorded a shutout in Montreal's 3-0 win over the Canucks at Bell Centre last February 24.