Kovalev, Aebischer lead Canadiens to shootout winNov 8, 2006 - 4:18 AM MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Alexei Kovalev wasn't going to let an ailing knee keep him off the ice.
Kovalev scored the decisive shootout goal and David Aebischer made it stand as the Montreal Canadiens posted a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
Kovalev hurt his right knee and had to be carried off the ice in a 2-1 loss to New Jersey on Saturday. However, three nights later, the 14-year veteran deked goaltender Dwayne Roloson and slid the puck under his pad for the game-winner, sending the Canadiens to their third win in four games.
Aebischer stuffed a shot by Jarret Stoll on Edmonton's final attempt to preserve the win. Aebischer stopped 26 shots and is now 5-1-1 this season. The sixth-year netminder is 9-3 all-time vs. Edmonton.
"They are a good team, they drive the net hard, it's always an intense game," Aebischer said. "So far I've had good success against them but it's not an easy team to play against. It's always a challenge."
Montreal defenseman Craig Rivet tied the game at 1-1 in the second period and rookie Guillaume Latendresse scored his first career goal 64 seconds into the third period to give the Canadiens a 2-1 lead.
"It was amazing when they did announce it," Latendresse said of his goal, which was originally credited to Saku Koivu. "I was going on for my shift so I had to focus on that. It wasn't the same as if they had announced it when it had happened."
Edmonton rookie Brad Winchester tallied just over six minutes into the game for his first NHL goal and teammate Petr Sykora scored his ninth goal of the season with 4:30 left in regulation to tie the game at 2-2.
"It was a hard-fought game and we had to pay the price to get a point," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "You lose in the shootout when you have the chance to put a 'W' in the column, which we haven't done in too many of the last games."
Roloson swept aside 34 shots for the Oilers, who have dropped five of their last six and are just 1-5 on the road this season.
"I thought we played really well for 65 minutes," Roloson said. "That's what you have to do on the road. We simplified our game and did the little things to win a game. Unfortunately we didn't get enough goals."
"We knew they had lost a few and had character so we knew they were going to work hard," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "We responded really well. We made some mistakes but when you make mistakes and keep working hard, things will happen."
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