Kovalev, an All-Star right wing, was acquired from the New York
Rangers on Tuesday. The 31-year-old Russian struggled with New
York and has just 13 goals and 29 assists in 66 games this
The Canadiens also acquired center Jim Dowd from Minnesota on
Thursday. Dowd has a plus-6 rating in 55 games this season.
Montreal had a five-game winning streak stopped with Wednesday's
4-3 loss at San Jose. Yanic Perreault, defenseman Andrei Markov
and Mike Ribeiro scored for the Canadiens, who yielded three
goals on six power plays.
Michael Ryder had a pair of assists and has four goals and six
assists in his last eight games.
Phoenix is mired in a six-game winless streak (0-3-1-2) in which
it has yielded 29 goals. The latest setback was a 5-4 overtime
defeat at Edmonton on Tuesday.
The Canadiens got a pair of assists from Ribeiro in a 4-2
victory over Phoenix in the last meeting on December 7, 2002.