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
Mathieu Garon stopped 27 shots in place of Jose Theodore, Montreal's
``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
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.