NHL

Koivu injures eye in Habs' loss

Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu suffered an eye injury Wednesday night against Carolina.

The Montreal Canadiens may have lost more than a 2-1 playoff game in overtime Wednesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Bell Centre.

Captain Saku Koivu was taken to the hospital after Carolina forward Justin Williams high-sticked him in the left eye during the second period of Game 3 between Montreal and the Carolina Hurricanes.

In a frightening sight that stunned the soldout crowd, Koivu was quickly rushed off the ice with the help of the referee as blood dripped down the left side of his face.

Canadiens coach Bob Gainey confirmed after the game that Koivu suffered the injury, including a cut around the left eye and will be examined by team eye specialist Dr. John Little Thursday.

"I really don't know any specifics and I wouldn't know how to explain it to you if I did," Gainey said in his post-game comments.

"When it's around the eye I think it's wise and prudent that all caution be taken."

Koivu was kept overnight in hospital for further observation.

The Canadiens were miffed that no penalty was called as officials failed to witness the play.

Several Montreal players after the game couldn't understand why referee Dennis La Rue missed the obvious penalty on Williams, particularly after Canadiens defenceman Mike Komisarek was assessed a four-minute high-sticking call for an infraction on Hurricanes forward Cory Stillman with 4:34 remaining in regulation time.

"I didn't see a cut, it's not like [Stillman] needed stitches," said centre Mike Ribeiro.

"I think he bit his tongue. But they missed the one on Saku, and that one was more obvious than Stillman. If you give it with four minutes left, give the other one, too. But four minutes for biting the tongue? I don't get it."

Montreal lost after Carolina forward Eric Staal scored his first-ever playoff goal at 3:38 of the extra period on the power play.

Carolina was awarded the man advantage when Montreal centre Tomas Plekanec was called for hooking Stillman.

with files from Canadian Press

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