<
>

Ribeiro rallies Habs past Flyers in OT

MONTREAL (AP) -- Mike Ribeiro and the Montreal Canadiens felt as
though they passed a test after rallying for another home win.

Ribeiro scored his second goal of the game 2:28 into overtime to
give the Canadiens a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on
Tuesday night.

The Montreal center also tied it midway through the third,
taking advantage of a big rebound off goalie Robert Esche. In
overtime, the Canadiens had a couple of good chances before Ribeiro
finally scored, holding the puck along the right boards before
moving out to snap a shot past Esche.

"I was looking to make a pass and I didn't see an opportunity,
so I took a shot on net and it worked out all right," Ribeiro
said.

Montreal, 4-0 on the road this season, rallied for the third
straight game at the Bell Centre to improve to 7-2-0 overall.
Philadelphia, which had won three straight, dropped to 4-2-1.

"We knew they were one of the best teams and we needed to be
ready right off the bat," Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore said. "I
think we played a really big period in the first. After that, we
just kept playing hard and we got the winner."

Flyers rookie Mike Richards had a goal and assisted on Brian
Savage's goal as Philadelphia scored a pair of power-play goals
during a penalty-filled second period to build a 2-1 lead. Michal
Handzus assisted on both goals.

"Richards has been playing great all year," Savage said. "He
reminds me a lot of a young Steve Yzerman. He's built like him and
he's a good skater, an all-around good player who plays both ends
of the ice."

Referees Blaine Angus and Craig Spada called a total of nine
minors between the two teams in the second before calling all five
minors in the third against the Flyers.

"It was tough in the third," Savage said. "Obviously, we had
a lot of penalties and a lot of penalty killing and we didn't get
into the offensive flow of it, 5-on-5. It's tough, back on your
heels and penalty killing most of the period."

On Montreal's tying goal, Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov
spotted Ribeiro behind the Flyers' defense at the Philadelphia blue
line and fired a long wrist shot on goal.

Esche stopped the shot easily, but left the rebound to his
right. Ribeiro swooped in and picked up the puck in the left
faceoff circle, moved in on Esche and cut across the goalmouth to
tuck the puck inside the right post.

"They run and gun pretty well over there, if you give them the
chance," Esche said. "If you're in the box for eight to 10
minutes of that period, it's a tough place to win."

Montreal opened the scoring with 4:36 left in the first period,
with Pierre Dagenais cutting across the goalmouth from the right
corner and rapping Esche's rebound of defenseman Francis Bouillon's
point shot off the left post and into the net.

The Canadiens were unable to convert any of its four power play
chances in the second. The Flyers, who entered the game 25th in the
NHL with the man advantage, scored on two of their five power-play
opportunities in the period.

"The second and third period there were a lot of power plays,
but that's how it is now," Theodore said. "You've got to be ready
and you've got to keep your focus because you might get two power
plays, and then be called for two penalties, so you've got to make
sure you're ready at all times."

Richards tied it 5:48 into the second, just 14 seconds after Jan
Bulis was sent off for boarding. Handzus set up the goal, holding
the puck along the boards before firing a cross-ice pass to an
unguarded Richards, who swooped in behind Bouillon and Mathieu
Dandenault to redirect the pass into a wide open left side.

Richards set up Savage's go-ahead goal with 4:13 left in the
period as Philadelphia converted late in a 5-on-3 advantage that
left the Canadiens two men short for nearly two minutes.

Ribeiro was already in the penalty box serving a double minor
for high-sticking Flyers defenseman Kim Johnsson when Alex Kovalev
was penalized for delay of game with 5:47 left in the period.

Theodore and the Canadiens' three-man penalty killing unit did a
good job of fending off the attack when Handzus found Richards to
the left of the net after Montreal just failed to clear the zone.
Richards fed the puck in front to Savage, who swiped the puck into
a wide open net with 23 seconds left in Ribeiro's second penalty.

Game notes
Flyers LW Donald Brashear played his 700th regular-season
game. ... Dagenais scored Montreal's last goal at home against
Philadelphia on Dec. 8, 2003. Sean Burke led the Flyers to a 2-0
win over the Canadiens on April 1, 2004, in Philadelphia's most
recent game at the Bell Centre. ... Montreal sold out each of its
first five home games.