Game 671 – Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)

Game 671
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The Montréal Canadiens extended their rival’s misery.

Saku Koivu scored a power-play goal at 1:04 of overtime to give the Canadiens a 4-3 victory over Toronto on Saturday night, the Maple Leafs’ eighth straight loss.

With Toronto’s Alexander Khavanov serving a penalty for holding, Koivu stuffed the puck past goalie Mikael Tellqvist.

“It’s a really tough loss, but fortunately we got one point,” Tellqvist said.

Montréal trailed 2-1 in the third, but Alex Kovalev and Jan Bulis scored within 35 seconds of each other to give the Canadiens a 3-2 lead. Kovalev scored twice for the Canadiens, who finished 2-4 on their trip.

“The way both teams are going, that’s why you saw the game that we saw,” Montréal coach Bob Gainey said.” It was important game and it could have effect the outcome of the season.”

Toronto’s Ken Klee tied it at 3 with a weak shot that beat goalie José Théodore with 4:18 left in regulation. Darcy Tucker and Alexander Khavanov also scored for Toronto.

Toronto tried to shake things up against Montréal, starting Tellqvist in place of the struggling Ed Belfour. The 40-year-old Belfour is winless in his last seven starts, posting a 4.58 goals-against average.

Tellqvist failed to clear the puck from behind his net, allowing Tomas Plekanec to make a pass to Bulis, who gave Montréal a 3-2 lead at 11:15 of the third by beating Tellqvist before he could get settled.

“We had a lead. We need to find a way to close it out,” Klee said. “We both need points. Both teams are on the outside of the playoffs looking in.”

Tucker returned from a six-game absence and scored on a two-man advantage at 11:19 of the first. Mats Sundin’s shot deflected off the boards to Jason Allison, who quickly passed it to Tucker, who was alone at the side of the net.

Montréal tied it after Klee turned the puck over in Montréal’s end, and Koivu skated up the ice and made a pass to Kovalev, who beat Tellqvist.

The Maple Leafs were going to get a penalty shot after Montréal’s Craig Rivet interfered with Nik Antropov on a breakaway, but before Montréal could touch the puck Khavanov put the puck off Rivet’s skate and in with 56 seconds left in the second.

NOTES: Toronto is 0-8 with top defenceman Bryan McCabe sidelined by a groin injury. McCabe has practiced full-out and hopes to return either Monday night game against Florida or Tuesday night game against Tampa Bay.

Story property of

1st Period
TOR PEN – 06:02 – Domi, hooking
MTL PEN – 09:31 – Koivu, cross checking
MTL PEN – 10:31 – Souray, delay of game
TOR PP GOAL – 11:19 – Tucker (Allison, Sundin)
TOR PEN – 18:16 – Wozniewski, tripping

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 01:12 – Kovalev (Koivu, Bulis)
MTL PEN – 12:10 – Ivanans, roughing
TOR PEN – 12:10 – Antropov, roughing
MTL PEN – 16:23 – Rivet, slashing
TOR PEN – 17:18 – Tucker, interference
MTL PEN – 18:06 – Bulis, tripping
TOR GOAL – 19:04 – Khavanov (Kaberle, Allison)
TOR PEN – 19:53 – O’Neill, interference

3rd Period
MTL GOAL – 10:40 – Koivu (Higgins, Rivet)
MTL GOAL – 11:15 – Bulis (Plekanec)
TOR PEN – 12:46 – Ponikarovsky, tripping
TOR GOAL – 15:42 – Klee (Kilger)

TOR PEN – 00:51 – Khavanov, holding
MTL PP GOAL – 01:04 – Koivu (Kovalev, Souray)

MTL – Théodore (W, 21-24)
TOR – Tellqvist (OTL, 16-20)

MTL – 6+4+7+3 = 20
TOR – 8+12+4+0 = 24

MTLGoaltenders: Cristobal Huet, José Théodore. Defence: Francis Bouillon, Jean-Philippe Côté, Mathieu Dandenault, Mike Komisarek, Craig Rivet (A), Sheldon Souray. Forwards: Steve Bégin, Radek Bonk, Jan Bulis, Aaron Downey, Christopher Higgins, Raitis Ivanans, Saku Koivu (C), Alex Kovalev (A), Tomas Plekanec, Mike Ribeiro, Michael Ryder, Niklas Sundstrom.
TORGoaltenders: Ed Belfour, Mikael Tellqvist. Defence: Jay Harrison, Tomas Kaberle (A), Alexander Khavanov, Ken Klee, Staffan Kronwall, Andrew Wozniewski. Forwards: Jason Allison, Nikolai Antropov, Tie Domi, Chad Kilger, Jeff O’Neill, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Matt Stajan, Alexander Steen, Mats Sundin (C), Darcy Tucker (A), Kyle Wellwood, Clarke Wilm.

MTL – 23-20-6 (.531)
TOR – 24-22-4 (.520)


Alex Kovalev (MTL)
⭐⭐ Saku Koivu (MTL)
⭐⭐⭐ Darcy Tucker (TOR)