MONTREAL (Ticker) — Captain Saku Koivu scored his second goal
of the game just 1:40 into overtime as the Montreal Canadiens
presented Bob Gainey with a victory in his return to coaching, a
4-3 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
Alex Tanguay recorded a goal and an assist and Glen Metropolit
also scored for Montreal, which played its first game after
firing Guy Carbonneau as its coach on Monday.
Defenseman Mathieu Schneider notched two assists and All-Star
Carey Price made 29 saves for the Canadiens, who improved to
7-4-1 in their last 12 games.
“It’s coming along. The guys are playing real well in front of
me, and that really helps my game,” Price said. “When the guys
are playing great, I can just sit back and relax a bit more back
All-Star defenseman Sheldon Souray registered a goal and an
assist, Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano also scored and Dwayne
Roloson turned aside 22 shots for Edmonton, which finished its
four-game road trip with a 1-1-2 mark.
“It stings when you lose a game like that, when you are up with
less than six minutes left,” Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said.
“It was disappointing, but (there are) a lot of good positive
signs the way we played, and now we have to build some momentum
when we get back home.”
“It’s disappointing, but we will move on,” Edmonton defenseman
Steve Staios added. “We have to get comfortable playing with a
lead in the third.”
After Koivu leveled the contest with 4:35 remaining in the third
period, the Canadiens gained an advantage in overtime when
Edmonton’s Patrick O’Sullivan was whistled for slashing just 50
seconds into the extra session.
With his team on the power play, Koivu sent the Bell Centre
faithful home with a smile by deflecting Schneider’s blast from
just inside the blue line past Roloson for his 13th goal of the
“This is a huge win for us, for everybody, but obviously for a
new coach coming in. It’s not an easy situation,” Koivu said.
“But it’s a lot easier to go from here, to wake up tomorrow
morning and go to work, because we got these two points.”
Koivu’s tally made a winner of Gainey, who has served as the
club’s general manager since June 2003. The five-time Stanley
Cup winner previously had been Montreal’s interim coach for the
final 41 regular-season games in 2005-06.
Gagner gave Edmonton a 3-2 lead and capped a three-goal second
period by poking home a loose puck on the doorstep with 88
seconds remaining in the session.
“The second period, we had enough bonfires burning that we
needed a couple of fire departments to put them out if we were
going to go after all of them,” Gainey said. “I thought we
should just focus on one or two things and see if we could
loosen up our players.”
Souray did not play in the third period due to a lower body
injury, but MacTavish does not believe the blue-liner will be
sidelined for long.
“He’ll be evaluated tomorrow, but we don’t anticipate that it
will be that long,” MacTavish said. “It happened right at the
very end of the second. He wanted to go out in the third, but
we didn’t think it was worth the risk.”