|Canadiens pull off biggest comeback in franchise history in win over Rangers|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:21|
Then, suddenly, came the biggest comeback in Canadiens history.
``I don't think a lot of people expected it,'' said Michael Ryder, who scored the first two of four straight even-strength goals by Montreal in the Canadiens' 6-5 shootout victory Tuesday night.
The Canadiens stormed back from a 5-0 deficit early in the second with five unanswered goals. It was the first time the storied franchise had recovered from a deficit so large.
In the shootout, Saku Koivu beat Henrik Lundqvist with a forehand deke on the Canadiens' second attempt. Cristobal Huet stopped Brendan Shanahan, Chris Drury and Jaromir Jagr to the delight of the sold-out Bell Centre crowd of 21,273.
``What a great effort, what a great feeling at the end,'' defenseman Mike Komisarek said. ``My ears are still ringing from that crowd.''
The Rangers' heads might have been spinning after blowing the big lead.
``We got caught on our heels and allowed them back into the hockey game,'' Rangers coach Tom Renney said. ``I give the Montreal fans a ton of credit.''
In other NHL games, it was: Vancouver 3, Minnesota 2 in overtime; Pittsburgh 3, Florida 2; Boston 3, Carolina 2 in a shootout; Toronto 3, Columbus 1; Ottawa 3, Philadelphia 2 in a shootout; St. Louis 5, Chicago 1; Nashville 5, Edmonton 4; and Calgary 4, Phoenix 1.
At Montreal, Alex Kovalev, rolled onto his back amid a wild ovation after he tied it at 5 with his team-leading 29th goal at 15:38 of the third period.
``When I was laying down, I could see that there was nobody sitting,'' Kovalev said. ``It's unbelievable. The fans have always been great to me. It definitely makes you give more back and I'm trying to play as hard as I can for them. A game like this, we just had to keep playing and you never know what will happen.''
Shanahan scored twice to reach 20 goals for the 19th straight season and Jagr became the 10th leading scorer in NHL history with four assists to help stake the Rangers to their big lead.
Brandon Dubinsky and Sean Avery scored goals 14 seconds apart in the first, and Drury scored his 20th goal 28 seconds after Shanahan's second goal of the game to give New York a five-goal lead 5:03 into the second.
Canucks 3, Wild 2, OT
Daniel Sedin's overtime goal lifted visiting Vancouver over Minnesota.
Sedin took a drop pass from his brother, Henrik, and snapped a wrist shot past Minnesota goaltender Nicklas Backstrom.
Division-leading Minnesota still holds a five-point advantage on the Canucks.
Vancouver trailed 2-1 in the third period before Markus Naslund tied it on a power-play goal, with assists from both Sedin brothers.
Penguins 3, Panthers 2
Ryan Malone scored twice in the final 3:20 as Pittsburgh erased a two-goal deficit in the third period for a win over visiting Florida.
Colby Armstrong also scored and Evgeni Malkin had two assists to take over the NHL's scoring lead for the Penguins, who tied idle New Jersey for the Atlantic Division lead.
David Booth and Brett McLean scored for the Panthers, who have lost four of five.
Bruins 3, Hurricanes 2, SO
David Krejci scored in the third round of the shootout to lift visiting Boston.
Phil Kessel also scored in the shootout and Tim Thomas stopped the Hurricanes for Boston, which blew a late 2-0 lead by allowing two goals in the final 63 seconds.
Marc Savard had a goal and an assist and Zdeno Chara scored for Boston.
Maple Leafs 3, Blue Jackets 1
At Toronto, Vesa Toskala made 26 saves while starting for the 17th time in 18 games for the Maple Leafs.
Carlo Colaiacovo, Nik Antropov and Chad Kilger scored for Toronto, while Nikolai Zherdev had the only goal for the Blue Jackets.
Senators 3, Flyers 2, SO
Antoine Vermette had a goal in regulation and another in the shootout for Ottawa.
Jason Spezza scored the shootout winner, while Chris Kelly had the other regulation goal for the Senators, who ended a three-game winless streak.
Kimmo Timonen and Scottie Upshall scored for the visiting Flyers, winless in eight straight.
Blues 5, Blackhawks 1
Brad Boyes' 32nd goal put St. Louis ahead to stay and the Blues scored three power-play goals for the second straight game in a victory over visiting Chicago.
Manny Legace made 19 saves in his 17th straight appearance for the Blues, who are on a 4-0-1 run that has put them back into playoff contention.
Predators 5, Oilers 4
Scott Nichol and J.P. Dumont each scored a goal and added a pair of assists as Nashville won at home.
Dumont scored the winner at 18:05 of the third period when he skated around the net and backhanded a shot past Mathieu Garon. Alexander Radulov, Jordin Tootoo and Jason Arnott also scored for the Predators, who have won four of six.
Flames 4, Coyotes 1
Dion Phaneuf and Jarome Iginla each scored two goals to lead visiting Calgary.
Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 24 shots and allowed only Derek Morris' goal for his 30th win of the season.