Mark Messier scored 42 seconds into overtime last night to lift the Edmonton Oilers to a 5-4 victory over the Canadiens in Montreal. It was the Oilers' 500th game since joining the NHL in 1979.
After a scoreless third period, Messier took a pass from Mark Napier and lifted a shot that hit off goalie Steve Penney's glove and fell into the net.
Edmonton's Wayne Gretzky had tied it at 4 at 13:41 of the second period, stickhandling around the defense and pushing the puck behind Penney, who fell.
Mike Krushelnyski had given the Oilers a 1-0 lead at 3:28 of the first period. Ryan Walter flipped a wrist shot past Edmonton goalie Andy Moog at 8:11 to tie, 1-1.
Rookie defenseman Steve Smith scored his first NHL goal on a 40-footer at 16:01 and Napier shot the puck off Penney's right arm into the net to give the Oilers a 3-1 lead at 2:22 of the second period. Forty seconds later, Mario Tremblay converted a fine pass from Mats Naslund for Montreal.
Naslund tied it at 3 at 10:15 on a power play on a shot from the blueline, and 24 seconds later, Guy Carbonneau stole the puck from Smith and passed to Chris Nilan, whose first goal of the season gave Montreal a brief 4-3 lead.