Montreal Canadiens' Kaptain Klutch Comes Through Again

Matt EichelSenior Writer IMarch 27, 2009

MONTREAL- MARCH 10:  Andrei Kostitsyn #46 and Alex Tanguay #13 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrate the third period goal by Saku Koivu #11 with teammates during the game against the Edmonton Oilers at the Bell Centre on March 10, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Canadiens defeated the Oilers 4-3 in overtime.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Who says Saku Koivu isn't the heart and soul of the Montreal Canadiens?

After netting his career-tying fifth game winning goal in overtime against the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night in a thrilling, albeit unnecessary, 3-2 win, Koivu's celebration and the reaction of his teammates shows how much heart Koivu really has.

"I saw the net wide open and maybe I got too excited about it," admitted Koivu.

"I think it hit his glove, but then I got the rebound and I just wanted to get it in."

After blowing a 2-0 lead during the latter stage of the third period, the Canadiens were able to salvage that all important extra point in overtime.

Even if it was a salvaged win during a game against one of the lowliest teams in the Eastern Conference, it was a game the Canadiens dominated both in shots and in the flow of play.

"We played a good team game.  We'd like to have won 2-0 and got the confidence from that, but we'll take it." said Koivu.

With the ninth place Florida Panthers also winning on Thursday night, the Canadiens two points become even more crucial.  Also with a game at hand on the Panthers and two points up on them, the Canadiens will host another team on the brink of the playoffs in the Buffalo Sabres.

The line of Alex Kovalev, Alex Tanguay, and Koivu may be the solution to the Canadiens scoring woes as they have been dynamite in the last two games.

However, the Canadiens must be wary of becoming too reliant on their first line and hope that other lines and players can pull some of the scoring weight, as we saw with Guillaume Latendresse's 12th goal of the season.

"But the most important thing is we were reliable and consistent throughout the game." admitted head coach and GM Bob Gainey.

And at this time in the season, that is what the Canadiens have been searching high and low for: consistency.

With Buffalo coming into the Bell Centre for a Hockey Night In Canada matchup, consistency could go a long way.  And two points could get them closer to those New York Rangers.

Matt Eichel is a Community Leader for the Montreal Canadiens here on Bleacher Report along with Miah D. and Daniel Arouchain.  Matt also co-hosts Habs All Out Radio, a in-depth talk radio show devoted to all things Montreal Canadiens.

It airs weekly at and is hosted by Matt and Miah.