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Theodore records 27 saves in Habs' victory

2/15/2003

MONTREAL (AP) -- Jose Theodore credited his Canadiens teammates
for helping him get his game back on track.

Theodore made 27 saves and Doug Gilmour, Stephane Quintal and
Joe Juneau scored to lead Montreal to a 3-2 victory over the
Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

Theodore ended his five-game losing streak, and Niklas Sundstrom
had two assists for Montreal. The Canadiens have earned at least
one point in four consecutive games (3-0-0-1).

''The guys made the big plays and scored the big goals, I was
just concentrating on making the key saves at the right time,''
Theodore said. ''We did it as a team and that's how we're going to
have to play game-in, game-out.''

Todd Marchant and Jani Rita scored third-period goals for
Edmonton after the Canadiens took a 3-0 lead.

''We had a good effort from everyone, but slacked off a little
bit in the third period and tried to sit on a lead,'' Canadiens
defenseman Craig Rivet said.

The Oilers went 113:42 without a goal before Marchant scored
3:47 into the third.

''We had chances early in the game that we should have buried,
and we didn't, yet you never like to admit that you've been beaten
by a goalie,'' Marchant said. ''(Theodore) played well but I've
seen him play better. Tonight was just an example of a game where
we didn't play for 60 minutes.''

Gilmour scored his first goal in 12 games, and 10th of the
season, on a power play 8:54 in. Gilmour scored just five seconds
before the power play expired.

Quintal increased the Canadiens' lead to 2-0 when he scored off
a faceoff 7:43 into the second. Defenseman Francis Bouillon took
Sundstrom's pass back to the point and quickly moved the puck
across to Quintal, who beat Oilers goalie Tommy Salo with a shot
from the right point for his fourth goal of the season.

Juneau scored his fifth off another faceoff early in the third.
Juneau won the draw to Sundstrom and drove to the net for a return
pass, firing a shot past Salo to put Montreal ahead 3-0.

''Every draw is a battle,'' Juneau said. ''You don't really set
up a play like this to set up a goal all the time. You're just
trying to win it and hopefully get the puck at the net, and in this
case (Sundstrom) made a great play. It was a heads-up play and
you've got to give him credit.''

Marchant ended Edmonton's goal-scoring drought just 3:09 later
to make it 3-1 before assisting on Rita's goal at 7:26 of the
third.

Rita, recalled from Hamilton of the AHL on Friday, scored his
second goal in seven games with Edmonton.

''Too little, too late,'' Marchant said. ''We got down 3-0 on
three faceoff goals. It's a part of the game that is so crucial. It
can go one way or the other and tonight it was obviously a positive
for them and it was a negative for us.''

Edmonton, which lost 2-0 in Ottawa on Thursday, fell to 1-2-0 on
its five-game road trip. The Oilers have lost four of five.

Game notes
As part of Hockey Day In Canada, the Canadian national
anthem was performed via satellite from Iqaluit in Nunavut
Territory. A problem with the broadcast's audio feed left the
starting players and game officials standing awkwardly on the ice
while watching the video scoreboard performance in silence. ...
Edmonton's goal drought began after Shawn Horcoff scored the
Oilers' fifth goal 10:05 into the third Tuesday in a 5-4 victory at
Toronto.