(Photo:Ryan Remiorz, AP/CP)
2006: Saku Koivu’s left eye is injured in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals against the Carolina Hurricanes. Koivu suffered a torn retina, from an errant stick by the Hurricane’s Justin Wiliams in the second period, and missed the rest of the playoffs.
"I tried to cover Saku in front of the net, he came to the net and I obviously missed his stick and clipped him under the eye," said Williams, after a Hurricane’s practice the following day. "There was no penalty on the play but I kept looking for him at the start of each period to see if he was back on the bench, but that wasn't so."
It was certainly a turning point in the series, and coupled with the emerging Conn Smythe winning performance by Cam Ward, the Canadiens lost the game 2-1 in overtime. The Hurricanes won the next three games to clinch the series.
Also on this day…
1977: Montreal played their 38th straight home game without a loss (including four playoff wins), an NHL record. Ken Dryden's 6th career playoff shutout gave the Canadiens a 3-0 win over the visiting Islanders in Game Two of the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals.
1987: Mats Naslund scored twice, including the winner at 5:30 of overtime to lead the Canadiens to a 3-2 win against the Nordiques at Quebec, in Game 4 of the Adams Division Finals.
1993: Kirk Muller scores at 8:17 of overtime to give the Canadiens a 5-4 win over the Quebec Nordiques in Game Five of the Adams Division Semi-Finals.
Habs Born On This Day: Walt McCartney (1909), Glenn Goldup (1953)
“Canadiens captain Koivu out with eye injury.” – AP April 27, 2006