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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


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.


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