<
>

Audette's OT winner neutralizes Lemieux, Pens

11/19/2002

MONTREAL (AP) -- Saku Koivu's big offensive night was that much
more impressive to another famous cancer survivor.

Donald Audette scored 1:12 into overtime for the Montreal
Canadiens, who got a career-best three goals from Koivu in a 5-4
victory Monday night over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"He won the game for Montreal tonight,'' Pittsburgh captain
Mario Lemieux said of Koivu's performance.

Koivu, who scored twice on the power play and got the Canadiens'
first short-handed goal of the season, overcame cancer last season,
returning for Montreal's final three regular-season games before
leading the Canadiens in scoring during their surprising playoff
run last spring.

"I'm a bit surprised to see him play the way he's playing,''
said Lemieux, who had a goal and two assists. "He's got a lot of
energy for a guy who overcame cancer like he did. His was worse
than mine so for him to come back the way he has, it shows a lot of
courage on his part. It's fun to see him play like that.''

Audette, who ended a 23-game goal-scoring drought in his
previous game, beat Pittsburgh goalie Johan Hedberg for the winner.

"I was looking for the five-hole but he shut it down, so I just
went around him,'' Audette said.

None of the goals in the game came while the teams were skating
5-on-5. All eight goals in regulation were scored on special teams.

"I don't think hockey is what you saw tonight,'' Koivu said.
"I think it's a good thing that they're trying to get away from
the stickwork, or grabbing and holding, it'll create more room for
all the players.

"But I don't think the way to do is to call 15 or 16 penalties
a game, that totally takes the flow out of the game.''

Lemieux had two assists and scored his 10th goal with 8:49 left
in the third period for the Penguins' fourth power-play goal to tie
it at 4-4. Lemieux, who has 10 goals and 24 assists in 17 games,
leads the NHL with 34 points.

Dick Tarnstrom, Alexsey Morozov and Jan Hrdina also scored with
the man advantage for Pittsburgh, which lost its second in a row
and remained winless in six (0-3-1-2).

The Penguins went 4-for-7 on the power-play. Montreal went
3-for-8 as 17 minor penalties were called in the game.

"Both sides deserved their penalties tonight,'' Lemieux said.
"Until the players accept that hooking isn't allowed, it's going
to be like that. And the players who can't adjust, they'll end up
in the AHL.''

Koivu scored a power-play goal early in the first period and
added a short-handed goal early in the second. He completed his
first three-goal game in 364 regular-season appearances with
another power-play score midway through the second.

"Let's hope the second one won't take that long,'' Koivu said.

Koivu, who also assisted on Patrice Brisebois' power-play goal,
which put Montreal up 4-2 with 3:35 left in the second period, tied
a career high with four points. It was his fourth four-point game,
and first since he had two goals and two assists against Pittsburgh
on Feb. 28, 2001.

Hrdina scored his fifth goal of the season 2:22 into the third
to draw the Penguins within 4-3.

Pittsburgh tied it at 11:11 as a loose puck went in off
Lemieux's right skate. A video review confirmed the goal.

Koivu opened the scoring 1:42 in, taking Audette's pass from
behind the net at the edge of the crease and beating Johan Hedberg
for his sixth of the season.

Tarnstrom's fourth of the season tied it at 11:37.

Montreal got its first short-handed goal of the season 0:51 into
the second as Koivu's shot on a 2-on-1 pass from Richard Zednik
bounced over a sprawling Hedberg.

Lemieux, who assisted on Tarnstrom's goal, set up Morozov's
tying goal at 6:49. But Koivu restored the Canadiens' one-goal lead
with his third of the game on a 5-on-3 power-play with 9:11
remaining in the second.

Game notes
The Penguins have allowed three short-handed goals this
season. ... Koivu has eight career two-goal games. His last was on
March 10, 2001 at Phoenix. ... Canadiens RW Oleg Petrov was a
healthy scratch for the second straight game. Petrov had one point
-- his fourth goal of the season -- in his five previous games.