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Montreal 5, Atlanta 1

MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Canadiens have another chance at
their first winning streak in over two months.

Richard Zednik and Joe Juneau each had a goal and an assist
Saturday to lead Montreal to a 5-1 win over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Jan Bulis, Mike Ribeiro and Niklas Sundstrom also scored for the
Canadiens, who extended their unbeaten streak to three. Montreal,
which hosts Washington on Sunday, has earned a point in eight of 10
games (5-2-2-1), yet hasn't won consecutive games in 12 tries since
Oct. 20-23.

"It's obviously going to be nice the day that we get a couple
of wins together, but you have to also realize that the ties we got
on the road were pretty big," Juneau said. "It wasn't three wins,
but it was points in every game."

Jose Theodore stopped 27 shots and came within 4:50 of a shutout
before allowing Chris Tamer's goal at 15:10 of the third with the
Canadiens up 4-0.

"They had their scoring chances but they just couldn't bury
them, and when we had ours, we scored the big goals," Theodore
said.

Atlanta has lost four straight (3-0-0-1) -- including a 2-1 home
loss to Montreal on Dec. 29 -- after winning three in a row.

"They played well," Thrashers captain Shawn McEachern said.
"They had their forecheck going pretty good and they were fast
tonight."

Canadiens captain Saku Koivu returned to the lineup after
missing a 1-1 tie in Dallas on Wednesday.

Koivu, who assisted on Zednik's power-play goal, missed that
game because of a mild concussion when he was elbowed in the chin
Monday by Atlanta's Marc Savard. Savard was booed by the sellout
crowd of 21,273 every time he touched the puck.

Montreal, which scored just six times on a 1-1-1-1 trip, has won
three straight at home, outscoring its opponents 14-6 over that
span.

Michael Ryder assisted on both Montreal goals in the first as
the Canadiens jumped to a 2-0 lead after 8:35.

Bulis opened the scoring with his eighth goal at 1:44, and
Zednik increased the lead to two on his team-leading 13th goal just
16 seconds after Atlanta's Ivan Majesky was sent off for
interference.

Ribeiro completed a fine passing play to make it 3-0 midway
through the second. Left alone on the left side to take Richard
Zednik's cross-ice pass, defenseman Francis Bouillon set up
Ribeiro, who put the puck into a wide open net from the right edge
of the crease at 9:20.

Sundstrom put the Canadiens up by four with 6.6 seconds
remaining in the period with his second goal in as many games. Joe
Juneau passed the puck back to Sundstrom, who scored from the slot
for his fifth goal.

Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray shoved Atlanta's Benjamin
Simon to the ice after a stoppage 23 seconds into the third before
fighting with Tamer, the first of three separate bouts between the
teams in the period.

Juneau scored a power-play goal with 24.8 remaining.

Game notes
Byron Dafoe, who had won four of his six previous starts,
fell to 4-6 in 10 games this season. ... The Canadiens are 12-2-0
when leading after the first period, and 14-2-0 when ahead after
two periods. ... Theodore improved to 7-3-4 in his last 15 starts.