Koivu nets winner in OT as Canadiens edge Lightning

MONTREAL (AP) — Saku Koivu scored 3:15 into overtime and the
Montreal Canadiens recovered from blowing a two-goal lead in the
third period for a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on
Thursday night.

Koivu put a rebound past Martin St. Louis after the Tampa Bay
forward stuck out his left palm to stop Koivu’s first attempt on
a wild goal-mouth scramble.

The Montreal captain danced off to the corner where he was
joined by his teammates, who celebrated after blowing a 2-0 lead
in the third.

The Canadiens won their second in a row following a five-game
losing streak to strengthen their hold on the eighth and final
playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They have 85 points.

Lukas Krajicek drew the Lightning even at 2 with his second goal
of the season with 5:17 left in regulation.

Alex Kovalev scored his 20th goal on a power play in the first
period and Guillaume Latendresse added a highlight-reel score
early in the third to put Montreal up 2-0.

The Canadiens outshot Tampa Bay 36-19 overall, including all
three shots in overtime.

Montreal held a 32-14 edge in shots when Krajicek’s shot through
traffic deflected off Canadiens defenseman Mathieu Schneider on
its way past Carey Price at 14:43 to tie it at 2.

Kovalev reached the 20-goal plateau for the 12th time in his 17
seasons in the NHL when he scored on a power play at 11:19.

Latendresse brought the crowd to its feet when he flattened
Evgeny Artyukhin with an open-ice check early in the third, and
again moments later with his 12th goal on a wraparound play at

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The big left wing drove down the left side and carried the puck
behind the net to reach around and tuck it into an open right
side for his 12th goal.

Price, who faced only two shots in the first, made 17 saves for
his second straight win.

The Canadiens are 3-3-2 in eight games since general manager Bob
Gainey took over behind the bench after firing head coach Guy
Carbonneau on March 9.

David Koci scored midway through the third for Tampa Bay, which
has lost four of five.

Kovalev opened the scoring. He took Alex Tanguay’s cross-ice
pass and beat Karri Ramo with a shot from the left side.

Tanguay extended his points streak to four, including the third
five-point game of his career in Tuesday night’s 6-3 win over
Atlanta. He has three goals and five assists during his streak.

Montreal outshot Tampa Bay 11-2 in the first and 13-6 in the

Schneider, who also assisted on Kovalev’s goal, hit the right
post with a slap shot from the point on a power play late in the

Tanguay missed 28 games through the first two months of the
season after he injured his shoulder when he was driven into the
boards by Artyukhin during a 2-1 shootout win in Tampa Bay on
Dec. 30.