Originally created 12/13/01

Canadiens 3, Thrashers 3

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Thrashers had reason to celebrate after rallying to salvage a point against Montreal.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored with 9.1 seconds remaining in regulation as the Thrashers overcame a 3-0 deficit to tie the Canadiens 3-3 on Wednesday night.

"Down three is a big hole, and there's not many nights we've been able to overcome that," Atlanta captain Ray Ferraro said. "There's not many times you say a tie feels real good, but it's really nice to get a point."

Atlanta is last in the NHL with 18 points and has just one victory in its last eight games.

"Maybe that's the turn of the tide, fighting back in a game like that," Atlanta coach Curt Fraser said.

Montreal goalie Jeff Hackett blocked a point-blank shot by Kovalchuk with 15 seconds to play in regulation, but the Thrashers kept the puck alive in front of the goal. Kovalchuk stopped the puck with his skate at the post then poked it into the net behind Hackett to send the game into overtime.

The Thrashers' Patrik Stefan had a wide-open shot 5 feet from the net with 30 seconds remaining in overtime, but Hackett stood up to make the block and save the tie for Montreal.

The Thrashers trailed 3-1 in the third period, but Ferraro scored a power-play goal with 2:29 remaining to make it 3-2. Kovalchuk tied it with his team-high 13th goal of the season.

Montreal coach Michel Therrien said the tying goal shouldn't have counted.

"I just checked the video and we played 60 minutes, 30 seconds," Therrien said, referring to problems officials had with the game clock. "If the job had been done fairly, we wouldn't have had a faceoff in the neutral zone and there would have been no goal (by Kovalchuk)."

Doug Gilmour scored his first goal of the season for Montreal and added an assist.

"We were not very disciplined at the end of the game," Gilmour said. "We gave them too many chances."

Hackett (3-0-1) played his first game since Oct. 20 because of a dislocated shoulder.

The Thrashers had 12 shots in the first period and wasted five solid scoring chances against Hackett. Rookie Darcy Hordichuk missed an open net with a high shot, and Ferraro and Lubos Bartecko also missed open looks at the net.

Arron Asham put Montreal on top 1-0 when he took the puck down the left side and turned the corner to punch in a close shot past goaltender Milan Hnilicka with 1:57 left in the first period.

Gilmour made it 2-0 in the second with a blasting shot from between the circles.

Sheldon Souray made it 3-0 with 14 seconds left in the second. He controlled the puck following a face-off and drilled a shot from just inside the blue line past Hnilicka.

Atlanta rookie Dany Heatley scored his 10th goal of the season at 1:17 into the third period on the power play to make it 3-1.

Notes: Rookies Heatley and Kovalchuk have 23 of the Thrashers' 66 goals this season. ... Heatley's power-play goal was only the second power-play goal given up by Montreal in eight games. ... Montreal is 4-0-2 in Atlanta since the Thrashers joined the league in 1999.


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