On a critical night for his team, the captain scored the tying and game-winning goals. In the third period, Koivu went hard to the net and had a Andrei Kostitsyn pass deflect off of Oilers defenseman Steve Staios, off Koivu and then past Dwayne Roloson (22 saves). In overtime, the Canadiens received a 4-on-3 power play when Patrick O'Sullivan went off for slashing. Left virtually alone in front, Koivu tipped in a shot from the point to give Bob Gainey a victory in his first game back behind the bench, 4-3.
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The Sharks defenseman came up huge in overtime to snap his team's humbling four-game winless streak and overcome a blown three-goal lead. Ehrhoff collected a botched Antti Miettinen, skated through the neutral zone and into Minnesota territory, and then quickly snapped a shot that surprised Niklas Backstrom for the 5-4 win. He was a plus-two and also assisted on Joe Thornton's first-period goal.
The rookie outdueled Tim Thomas for his NHL-best ninth shutout, stopping all 35 Boston shots for the 2-0 victory. All Mason had to do was turn back 30 of them in the final two periods. Raffi Torres's power play goal, with an assist to Antoine Vermette, stood up as the game-winner.
Honorable Mention: Johan Franzen skated in between the circles and ripped a shot home to give the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win in overtime over the visiting Phoenix Coyotes. Ty Conklin made 23 saves for the victory. ... Sergei Fedorov converted a Viktor Kozlov pass in overtime to give the Washington Capitals a big 2-1 win at the Nashville Predators, who had been unbeatable at home lately. ... Evgeni Malkin scored his 30th goal and had the definitive tally in the shootout as the Pittsburgh Penguins extended their unbeaten streak to seven games with a 4-3 win. Tomas Vokoun stopped 47 shots in the loss. ... Martin Brodeur moved within two wins of tying Patrick Roy's career mark of 551, making 35 saves in the New Jersey Devils' 3-2 win over the visiting Calgary Flames. Olli Jokinen scored his third goal in four games; Zach Parise scored his 39th for the Devils. ... Mikhail Grabovski scored the first overtime goal of his career as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the New York Islanders, 3-2. Also victorious: Ron Wilson against the Toronto media. ... Jeff Carter now has 38 goals, as both he and Scott Hartnell scored twice to lead the Philadelphia Flyers over the Buffalo Sabres, 5-2. Marty Biron beat Buffalo for the third time this season. ... Kari Lehtonen stopped all 35 shots he faced as the Atlanta Thrashers shut out the Colorado Avalanche, 3-2. It's his second shutout in three games. ... Owen Nolan led the Minnesota rally with two goals to give him a team-leading 20.
Dishonorable Mention: It wouldn't be dishonorable mentions if we didn't dishonorably mention Marty Turco getting pulled in the Dallas Stars' 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Turco gave up three goals on eight shots. David Perron had two goals in the win. ... Also pulled: Pat Lalime, who gave up four goals before yielding to Mikael Tellqvist ... The Bruins have scored less than three goals in three of their last five games. ... Finally, the focus for fight fans will be Wade Belak of the Predators taking out Donald Brashear. But this brawl between Aaron Asham and Patrick Kaleta could be a fight of the year candidate: