Both teams traded chances early as the action was fast paced. Edmonton's best chance of the first eight minutes came when Toby Petersen took the puck in the high slot and wristed it on Aebischer.
Several minutes later, Horcoff and Pisani jammed at the puck as it slid across the goalmouth but Horcoff could not get enough control of it.
At the midway point of the first, Lupul used the defence as a screen as he pulled the puck towards his feet before shooting a deceptive wrister low to the glove side of Aebischer. The Canadiens goaltender had to be sharp to kick the puck away.
The newly-minted line of Ryan Smyth
, Ales Hemsky
and Petr Sykora had a great chance to open the scoring with about nine minutes left in the first. Smyth had a wraparound attempt that almost saw the puck sneak across the line during a scramble in front.
A minute later Kovalev rang a shot off the post in what was the Habs' best chance of the period.
A the 14-minute mark of the first period approached, Brad Winchester scored his first career regular season goal in the NHL to put Edmonton in front 1-0. Marty Reasoner threaded a nice pass over to Winchester in the slot and he made no mistake, using his reach to tip it through the five hole of Aebischer.
After one, Edmonton outshot Montreal 16-8 and took a one-goal lead to the intermission.
3:30 into the second with the Oilers on the power play, Stoll blasted a shot off the post from the left point in an effort to make it a two-goal game.
After Winchester bumped Aebischer in the Montreal net, Mike Komisarek took exception and the two dropped their gloves. Winchester got the better of the Habs' defenceman in that fight but also got two extra minutes for goaltender interference.
Just as the penalty expired, Craig Rivet wristed a shot from the right circle over the glove of Roloson to tie the game.
Midway through the period, things began to heat up between these two teams.
Jason Smith and Aaron Downey squared off in a lengthy fight. The enforcer Downey got the better of the Oilers captain in a spirited bout.
With two minutes left in the second, Matt Greene took out Mike Johnson in a knee-on-knee hit and immediately after the infraction Sheldon Souray went after the Oilers defenceman.
After the dust settled, the two teams were even strength. Souray got two for instigating, five for fighting and a ten-minute misconduct while Greene got two for tripping and five for fighting.
After 40 minutes, shots on goal were 22-19 for the Oilers.
Montreal scored early in the third to take a 2-1 lead. Off the rush, Michael Ryder fired a shot from the high slot that just missed the net but the puck took a wild bounce off the end boards and came back out in front where Koivu poked at it. The puck stopped on the goal line but Guillaume Latendresse nudged it just enough to get it over the line.
With eight minutes left in the third, the Oilers' line of Stoll, Torres and Lupul got some pressure deep in the Canadiens zone. The momentum carried over to the next shift where Ryan Smyth
almost poked the puck by Aebischer but Rivet knocked the puck away before it crossed the line.
Jason Smith took a shot square in the helmet while killing a penalty. After initially going down, he skated off the ice on his own strength and wasn't cut on the play.
After a sloppy line change, Sykora came off the bench and skated right into the play to fire a laser top corner over the left shoulder of Aebischer.
Shots on goal after regulation were 30-26 for Montreal.
Because both teams were playing four skaters aside to end the period, the OT period started with a three-on-three. Both teams had chances as play went end-to-end with all the wide-open ice.
(Goal scorers in bold)EDMONTON SHOOTERS:
, PisaniMONTREAL SHOOTERS:Koivu
, Latendresse, Samsonov, Kovalev