NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Toronto
(Saturday, January 28th)
Final Score: Montreal 4, Toronto 3 (OT)
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Saku Koivu scored in overtime to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
Koivu also had a goal and an assist in regulation and Alex Kovalev added a goal and an assist to lead the Canadiens, who have won two of their last three games.
Jose Theodore made 21 saves in the victory for Montreal, which snapped a three-game losing streak against Toronto.
Ken Klee, Darcy Tucker and Alexander Khavanov scored for the Maple Leafs, who have lost eight straight games.
Mikael Tellqvist stopped 16 shots in the loss for Toronto, which is on its longest losing streak since dropping seven straight from January 3-20, 1997.
The Habs scored two goals in a span of 35 seconds midway through the third period to assume a 3-2 lead, but Toronto tied it back up on Klee's third goal of the season with 4:18 to play to force overtime.
Khavanov took a penalty to give Montreal a power play 51 seconds into the extra session. Kovalev had the puck at the right point and got it to Koivu down low on the right side. Koivu skated it to the doorstep and snapped a shot that Tellqvist appeared to have covered up, but Koivu kept smacking away at it and on the third try pushed it between Tellqvist's pads for the winner.
"I was looking for (Michael) Ryder backdoor but couldn't see him," said Koivu of the final goal. "I saw it was open in the front, took some whacks and got it in on the third whack. We've been struggling for some time, a month or month in a half, the confidence level is not high. We have a young team. A win like this builds confidence; it can only help us."
"Obviously when you see the goalie fall on the puck you want to (hear) the whistle blowing," said Klee. "But we have to deal with it. We got the point. We need points. I hate to say it's our first point in awhile, but it is."
The Maple Leafs took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission with a 5-on-3 power-play goal. Mats Sundin let fly with a blast from the right point that went wide of the net. The puck bounced off the back boards to Jason Allison on the left side of the net. Allison flubbed his shot, but the disc went right to Tucker, who from the right side smacked it in at the 11:19 mark of the period.
The Canadiens tied the game up quickly in the second period. Jan Bulis forced a turnover in his own zone and got the puck to Koivu. Koivu skated down ice and from the top of the left circle fed the disc to Kovalev at the right circle. Kovalev kicked the puck from his right skate to his stick and wristed it into the net just 1:12 in.
However, Toronto took a 2-1 lead going into the third with a late goal in the second period. On a delayed penalty call, Tomas Kaberle sent a slapshot from the high slot that Theodore made a kick save on. But the rebound went right to Khavanov, who shot it on net and it deflected off of Montreal's Craig Rivet past Theodore with 56 seconds left.
Toronto seemed content just protecting the lead and the Habs put tremendous pressure on them and scored two goals separated by 35 seconds to take the lead.
Koivu brought the puck around the Toronto net and from the inside of the left circle sent a backhander on net that deflected off of a Toronto player to tie the game up at the 10:40 mark.
Shortly after, Tellqvist turned the puck over behind the net to Tomas Plekanec, who centered the puck to Jan Bulis and he backhanded the disc past Tellqvist, who was not ready for the puck, with 8:45 to play.
The Maple Leafs woke up and tied the game back up. Chad Kilger checked a Canadien off the puck along the right boards and from the right circle Klee blasted it from the top of the right circle past Theodore low on the glove side with 4:18 to play.
The Canadiens return home for a game against Carolina on Tuesday...Toronto goes on the road for a game against Florida on Monday...Montreal is 7-6 and Toronto is 7-4 in overtime this season...The Leafs are 15-2-1 when leading after two and the Habs are 6-13-3 when trailing after two...Montreal went 1- for-5 on the power play and Toronto connected once on its four man-advantages.
01/28 22:27:01 ET