Leave it to the Great One.
The New York Rangers peppered Montreal goalie Jocelyn Thibault with shots throughout overtime Wednesday night. Thibault was up to each challenge - until Wayne Gretzky made the play of the night.Gretzky's brilliant pass between two defenders was tipped home by Kevin Stevens with 18 seconds to go in the extra session. That lifted the Rangers past the Canadiens 2-1.
"It was a lucky decision," the NHL's career scoring leader said with undue modesty. "Nine out of 10 times, I would have given it back to Brian Leetch. He was hollering for it. Kevin went to the net, and I was lucky to get it to him."
But the Rangers didn't gain as much ground as they hoped when the Ottawa Senators stormed from behind to tie the New York Islanders 4-4. That left the Rangers four points behind Ottawa for eighth place in the East.
After a scoreless two periods, the game opened up, with all the goals scored in the third period and overtime.
ISLANDERS 4, SENATORS 4: In the best comeback for Ottawa since it rejoined the NHL as an expansion team six years ago, the Senators got third-period goals from Magnus Arvedson, Wade Redden and Shawn McEachern in a 4:05 span. Sergei Zholtok sent the game into overtime with 1:28 remaining, erasing a 4-0 New York lead.
PENGUINS 4, OILERS 2: At Pittsburgh, Jaromir Jagr scored his 31st goal and Ron Francis had two assists to raise his career total to 999. Francis has 55 assists this season and is trying to become the seventh NHL player to get 1,000.
DEVILS 3, MIGHTY DUCKS 0: Martin Brodeur broke his team record for wins in a season by stopping 25 shots for New Jersey.
CAPITALS 1, HURRICANES 0: Olaf Kolzig stopped 36 shots for his third shutout of the season, and Washington continued a remarkable penalty-killing run.
LIGHTNING 4, CANUCKS 2: Stephane Richer, on a hot streak since signing a new three-year, $6 million contract, had two goals and two assists and Mark Fitzpatrick made 33 saves as Tampa Bay won its second straight home game.
RED WINGS 5, MAPLE LEAFS 2: Kris Draper scored twice and rookie goalie Norm Maracle made 20 saves to win his second game in as many nights.
STARS 3, SHARKS 1: Jamie Wright and Dan Keczmer, fill-ins for injury-plagued Dallas, each scored a goal. Dallas also got a power-play goal, its 14th in the past 14 games, from Jere Lehtinen with 9:23 remaining and has won three straight since snapping its season-high, five-game winless streak.