The Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu scored twice to give Montreal a 4-3 overtime victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday in Bob Gainey's return to coaching. They were trailing 3-2 with less than five minutes left in regulation before Koivu scored to send the game into overtime. He then netted the winner by deflecting home a Mathieu Schneider shot 1:40 into overtime.
The goals gave the Canadiens a win in Gainey's first game since replacing the fired Guy Carbonneau on Monday. Alex Tanguay and Glen Metropolit scored Montreal's other goals. Meanwhile in other action, Christian Ehrhoff scored with 86 seconds of overtime remaining to keep the San Jose Sharks top of the Western Conference with a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild. San Jose remain tied on 96 points with the Detroit Red Wings, who had a 3-2 triumph over the Phoenix Coyotes.
Johan Franzen scored three minutes 35 seconds into overtime for Detroit, who have now won 23 consecutive home matches when scoring the first goal of the game. The rookie Steve Mason made 35 saves to earn his NHL-leading ninth shut out of the season as the Columbus Blue Jackets topped the Boston Bruins 2-0. The New Jersey Devils skated to a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames, while the Philadelphia Flyers scored four times in the third period en route to a 5-2 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres, and the Atlanta Thrashers beat Colorado Avalanche 3-0.
The St Louis Blues cruised to a 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars, and Sergei Fedorov scored in overtime as the Washington Capitals beat the Nashville Predators 2-1. The Pittsburgh Penguins skated to their sixth consecutive victory with a 4-3 shoot-out triumph over the Florida Panthers, while the Toronto Maple Leafs came back from 2-1 down late in the third period to beat the New York Islanders 3-2 in a thrilling clash.
* With agencies