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Kostitsyn's late goal leads Canadiens over Canes

Andrei Kostitsyn scored on Montreal's first power play with 3:53 left to give the Canadiens a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

Kostitsyn tipped Roman Hamrlik's shot from the left point in mid-air, redirecting the puck past Cam Ward with 3 seconds remaining in Jeff Skinner's holding penalty. That was Carolina's only infraction.

Tomas Plekanec scored in the second period to reach 20 goals for a fifth straight season. Michael Cammalleri and Lars Eller scored in the first, and Alex Auld made 28 saves for Montreal.

Cory Stillman scored midway through the second in his second game with the Hurricanes to tie it at 3.

Stillman, a key member of the Hurricanes' Stanley Cup championship in 2006 who was reacquired Thursday from Florida, snapped a wrist shot past Auld 10:49 into the second.

Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu also scored, and Ward made 23 saves for Carolina.

Carolina captain Eric Staal didn't make the trip to Montreal because of an undisclosed upper body injury sustained Friday in a win over Pittsburgh. Staal left late in the second period after being leveled by Matt Niskanen.

Auld made his second straight start despite being pulled 13:02 into Thursday night's loss to Toronto after he allowed three goals on nine shots. All-Star goalie Carey Price was unable to start after missing the Canadiens' morning skate because of the flu, though he dressed as Auld's backup.

Montreal appeared to score moments before Kostitsyn's goal but referee Francois St. Laurent immediately waved off a potential power-play tally by Canadiens captain Brian Gionta, ruling that he had blown his whistle.

Auld was caught out of position on Jokinen's goal, which opened the scoring 7:25 in. Jiri Tlusty took the puck off the Montreal goalie behind the net and fed a pass in front to Brandon Sutter, whose backhand hit the left post as Auld scrambled back in front.

Jokinen put the rebound into a gaping net for his 16th goal.

Cammalleri snapped a shot past Ward from the left circle at 13:48 for his 15th goal to tie it at 1.

Montreal took a 2-1 lead on Eller's fourth goal at 16:53. Ruutu tied it at 2 at 2:10 of the second with his 15th.

Plekanec restored the Canadiens' lead at 5:13 with a shot past Ward from the right side.

Notes: Plekanec is the first Canadiens player to have five consecutive 20-goal seasons since Stephane Richer had six in a row from 1985-86 to 1990-91. ... D Brent Sopel made his Montreal debut after he was acquired Thursday in a trade with Atlanta.