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Smyth scores winning goal with one minute left in OT

1/5/2003

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Ryan Smyth took a moment to reflect on
his recent scoring slump while waiting impatiently for his skates to be sharpened midway through the third period.

"I took a deep breath,'' the Edmonton Oilers star said. "I
knew I had to step up. I hadn't scored lately.''

Smyth return to score two goals, the second with a minute left
in overtime as Edmonton beat Montreal 5-4 in overtime Saturday
night. Smyth took a pass from Todd Marchant and beat goalie Jose
Theodore high in the corner of the net.

"It's just the norm around here right now,'' coach Craig
MacTavish said of the Oilers' sixth overtime game in their last
nine contests. "It's one of those stretches where you've got to
get to your seat in a hurry because there's a lot more action than
we would've liked tonight.''

Montreal's Richard Zednik tied it with 33 seconds remaining in
the third period. With the Montreal net empty, Zednik put the puck
behind Tommy Salo from close range for his 19th goal of the season.

Smyth made it 4-3 with 6:01 left in regulation, completing a
pretty passing play. Mike Comrie kicked the puck to Mike York, who
slid the puck across to Smyth. The forward jammed in his 14th of
the season to give Edmonton a brief lead.

Montreal captain Saku Koivu tied it at 3 on a power play just 25
seconds into the third period. With Montreal on a five-on-three
power play, Koivu went to the net and lifted a shot over Salo.

"I think we're all happy with one point,'' Koivu said. "Even
though we lost in overtime, it doesn't really mean anything because
we lost a point to a team in the Western Conference. I think there
were a lot of positive things for us.''

Defensemen Craig Rivet and Stephane Quintal also scored for
Montreal, which trailed 3-0 just 7:38 into the game.

"We weren't ready in the first 10, 15 minutes but we showed
some character,'' Quintal said.

Comrie opened the scoring on a power-play at 3:55, his 14th of
the season. Ales Hemsky added his first NHL goal at 4:29, and Jason
Chimera made it 3-0 at 7:38.

"It's a great feeling to score the first goal,'' the
19-year-old Hemsky said. "It was after a little while, but it's
done.''

Game notes
Patrice Brisebois reached 300 career points with an assist
on Koivu's goal. ... Edmonton is 5-1-0-0 against the Canadiens in
their last six games at Skyreach Centre.