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Habs backup Garon makes 18 saves in first start

10/21/2003

MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Canadiens are using their new
defensive system to create more scoring chances.

Steve Begin and Richard Zednik each scored a goal off nifty
passing plays and backup goalie Mathieu Garon made 18 saves to lead
Montreal to a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday
night.

Begin scored his first goal with the Canadiens on a two-man
break 1:45 into the second period, and Zednik got his second of the
season on a two-on-one later in the period.

"Playing like we play, we're going to get our chances," Begin
said. "We worked hard and obviously that gives you chances.
Tonight we got one, and we scored on it."

Garon, making his first start of the season, came up with a pair
of big stops on Brett Hull and a fine glove save on Brendan
Shanahan's point shot despite facing just four shots in the first
period.

With a chance to tie the game in the third, Hull shot the puck
across the crease on a wraparound attempt.

"We'd rather not give him that opportunity but it was good to
see he missed it," Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray said.

Montreal has allowed one goal or less in each of its last five
games, outscoring its opponents 15-4 since allowing five goals in a
season-opening loss Oct. 9 in Ottawa.

"I'm proud of the way we played," Garon said. "The first half
of the game the hardest thing was to stay sharp because I hardly
had any shots. If we keep playing like that defensively a lot of
teams will have problems with our system."

Mathieu Dandenault scored a short-handed goal for Detroit, which
has lost two in a row after winning its first three.

"The difference between winning and losing is a fine line and
tonight we had a couple of breakdowns in the neutral zone and they
capitalized. We had some chances, didn't capitalize and lost the
hockey game," Red Wings coach Dave Lewis said.

Red Wings goalie Curtis Joseph, on the trading block since
Detroit reacquired Dominik Hasek, was assigned to Grand Rapids of
the AHL prior to the game.

Joseph had surgery in August to remove bone chips from his right
ankle and hadn't dressed for the Red Wings' first five games.

"They really left it up to me and there were three different
possible scenarios," Joseph said. "I could have played this
weekend for the team, or maybe drive down on Friday, and Grand
Rapids is at home -- it's two hours from my house, get a game in
there and then play next week."

Wearing retro uniforms from the 1945-46 season, Montreal
improved to 4-2. The uniform features a white-based sweater that
resembles a photographic negative of the team's famous red, white
and blue jersey.

Garon got help in keeping Detroit scoreless through the first
when Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios' shot struck the crossbar
late in the period.

The Canadiens took the lead early in the second as Jason Ward
and Begin drove in alone. Ward passed to Begin, who beat Hasek for
his first goal in three games with Montreal.

"That was a bad change on my part," Red Wings defenseman
Mathieu Schneider said. "We got caught on the ice too long. It
goes back to the simple things. We've just got to ice the puck or
get it deep."

Zednik made it 2-0 6:02 into the period when he finished off a
give-and-go passing play with Mike Ribeiro.

Henrik Zetterberg set up Detroit's goal 8:25 into the second,
setting up Dandenault from the right side while the Red Wings were
killing Montreal's second power-play of the game.

Canadiens rookie Michael Ryder hit the post late in the third
and Marian Hossa missed his shot on a two-on-one on a Montreal
power play.

Game notes
G Manny Legace backed up Hasek for the fifth straight game.
... Zetterberg scored Detroit's other short-handed goal this
season. ... The Canadiens will wear the retro uniforms -- the team's
first version of a white uniform -- five more times at home this
season. ... Montreal and Detroit have never had third jerseys.