Koivu's OT winner rescues Canadiens
Saku Koivu scored 3:15 into overtime and the Canadiens recovered from blowing a two-goal lead in the third period for a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning last night in Montreal.
Koivu put a rebound past Martin St. Louis after the Tampa Bay forward stuck out his left palm to stop Koivu's first attempt on a wild goal-mouth scramble.
The Montreal captain danced off to the corner where he was joined by his teammates, who celebrated after blowing a 2-0 lead in the third.
The Canadiens won their second in a row following a five-game losing streak to strengthen their hold on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Panthers 4, Flyers 2 - Brett McLean scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, backup Craig Anderson made 40 saves, and visiting Florida snapped a three-game skid.
Cory Stillman, Radek Dvorak, and David Booth also scored for the Panthers, who started the night in ninth place and below the postseason cutoff in the Eastern Conference.
Anderson got the start over Tomas Vokoun, who surrendered three goals on 20 shots in Florida's 5-3 loss at Buffalo Wednesday when the Panthers gave up a two-goal lead in the third period.
Thrashers 5, Rangers 4 - Todd White scored in the shootout after Ilya Kovalchuk rallied host Atlanta from a three-goal deficit.
The Thrashers trailed, 4-1, midway through the second period, but Kovalchuk had a hand in each of the next three goals.
Kovalchuk scored late in the second period and assisted on third-period goals by Colby Armstrong and White as Atlanta tied it with 6:50 remaining in regulation.
Blue Jackets 5, Flames 0 - Steve Mason stopped 33 shots in his NHL-leading 10th shutout, Jason Williams scored two power-play goals, and Rick Nash and Kristian Huselius each had four assists for host Columbus.
The rookie set a franchise record for shutouts.
Manny Malhotra and Williams scored in the first period, and Raffi Torres and R.J. Umberger made it 4-0 after two periods in a penalty-filled game. The teams combined for 124 penalty minutes, with 110 coming in the second period when there were two fights, two game misconducts, and four misconducts.
Predators 3, Sharks 2 - Radek Bonk scored a power-play goal and added an assist as Nashville beat visiting San Jose.
Martin Erat and Greg Zanon also scored for the Predators, who overcame a 2-0 deficit. Joe Pavelski and Devin Setoguchi netted San Jose's goals.
The Sharks scored first when Christian Ehrhoff found Pavelski midway in the slot. Pavelski sent a wrist shot past Pekka Rinne, beating him to his stick side with 4:37 left in the first period. San Jose took a 2-0 lead on the power play when Setoguchi put his stick on a rebound and got the puck past Rinne from the left side 3:12 into the second.
Kings 1, Stars 0 - Justin Williams converted in the third round of the shootout and visiting Los Angeles ended a three-game slide.
Anze Kopitar gave the Kings the advantage in the first round of the shootout, making a nifty move to fake Marty Turco out of position, then tucking the puck into the net one-handed.
But Dallas's Jere Lehtinen drew the Stars even in the third round, beating Jonathan Quick with a forehand shot from the slot.
Williams was up next, and he gave the Kings the extra point when his shot trickled over the goal line.
Blues 4, Canucks 2 - David Perron scored a power-play goal early in the third period to lead St. Louis over visiting Vancouver.
Perron and T.J. Oshie each had a goal and an assist for the Blues, who are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games as they try to get into the Western Conference playoffs.
Chris Mason stopped 21 shots for his first career victory over the Canucks in eight appearances.
Coyotes 3, Oilers 2 - Martin Hanzal scored the winning goal for host Phoenix.
The Coyotes, seeking to play playoff spoiler, kept the Oilers from gaining critical points in their chase of a Western Conference playoff spot. Edmonton lost its third straight, while Phoenix won for the third time in five games.