ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ The Montreal Canadiens regained their confidence with an impressive comeback.
Richard Zednik scored off a perfectly timed pass from Mike Ribeiro with 27.9 seconds left in overtime, and Montreal ended its three-game losing skid Thursday night with a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
``This was a huge win for us,'' said Ribeiro, who also scored the tying goal in the third period. ``It's never easy to win in Minnesota, especially when you have to come back from 2-0.''
Patrice Brisebois also had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens, who lead the New York Islanders by three points for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
Mathieu Garon stopped 27 shots in place of Jose Theodore, Montreal's All-Star goaltender.
``Jose needed a break because he's an All-Star,'' Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. ``If he wasn't, he'd get his rest then. But now we have to find spots for him in the schedule.''
This one appeared to be a bad choice after Garon gave up goals in the first two periods. But he stiffened in the net after that.
``He made some great saves in OT,'' Julien said.
Garon, who made only his second start in Montreal's last 16 games, turned back a flurry of shots in overtime. The quicker Wild outshot Montreal 5-2 in the extra period.
``They got a lot of chances,'' Brisebois said. ``They were skating and skating. We were just trying to cover the slot.''
After breaking away down the right side, Ribeiro skated behind the net and found Zednik in the left circle. Zednik's hard shot beat Dwayne Roloson.
Minnesota was unbeaten in its previous four home games.
The Wild's 15 previous overtime games ended in a tie, matching an NHL record set by the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings.
Roloson finished with 26 saves for the Wild, who got goals from Jason Marshall and Antti Laaksonen.
Wild coach Jacques Lemaire wasn't pleased with his team's focus after Minnesota scored its first goal.
``I felt like we slowed down a little bit,'' he said.
With the Wild trailing 2-1, Ribeiro tied it on a power play at 5:58 of the third. From the right point, Brisebois flipped a pass to Ribeiro, who was standing to the left of the net. Ribeiro backhanded the puck past Roloson.
Earlier, the Wild looked as if they had a good chance to earn only their fourth win in 19 games.
The Wild had the capacity crowd on edge during overtime, sending several shots toward the net, but Garon made nice stops with his pads.
``Sometimes when you press hard in overtime, bad things can happen,'' Minnesota's Wes Walz said.
Marshall's power-play goal gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead midway through the first. His hard shot from the blue line zipped behind Stephane Quintal and into the net.
Laaksonen made it 2-0 at 5:07 of the second off an impressive assist from Walz, who was activated from injured reserve after missing Minnesota's previous 11 games with a sprained right shoulder.
Walz beat a Canadiens defender to a loose puck along the boards, skated in from the left side and zipped the puck perfectly to a streaking Laaksonen, who beat Garon to the glove side.
Montreal pulled to 2-1 on Brisebois' first goal of the season. After Yanic Perreault won a faceoff, Darren Langdon tipped the puck out to Brisebois, who wristed it from the slot between Roloson's pads.
|PPG - Jason Marshall (1) ASST: Richard Park (11), Pascal Dupuis (9)|
1 - 0 MIN
|Antti Laaksonen (9) ASST: Wes Walz (9)|
2 - 0 MIN
|Patrice Brisebois (1) ASST: Darren Langdon (2), Yanic Perreault (10)|
2 - 1 MIN
|PPG - Mike Ribeiro (12) ASST: Patrice Brisebois (15)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Richard Zednik (19) ASST: Mike Ribeiro (31), Andrei Markov (12)|
3 - 2 MTL
|Jim Dowd Unsportsmanlike conduct against Craig Rivet|
|Craig Rivet Unsportsmanlike conduct against Jim Dowd|
|Patrice Brisebois Hi-sticking against Willie Mitchell|
|Matt Johnson Fighting against Darren Langdon|
|Darren Langdon Fighting against Matt Johnson|
|Richard Park Hi-sticking against Francis Bouillon|
|Alex Henry Holding against Jozef Balej|
|Alexandre Daigle Too many men on the ice|
|Francis Bouillon Interference against Pascal Dupuis|