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Saku Koivu Gets Standing Ovation at Bell Centre - Jan 22, 2011 (HD)

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Uploaded on Jan 23, 2011

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MONTREAL - Saku Koivu got both things he wanted on his return to Montreal -- a warm reception from the fans and a win for the Anaheim Ducks.

"It didn't go the way we planned with the late goal and getting called for three penalties, but the reaction I got from the fans -- there's no words to describe how I felt at the end," Koivu said. "I'll remember that the rest of my life."

Koivu, a popular Canadien for 13 years, was in his first game in Montreal since he parted ways with the club in 2009. The bond between the gifted centre and the fans was reinforced in 2002 when he battled cancer and returned at the end of the season to lead the club to a first-round playoff win over Boston.

The Bell Centre crowd stood for a long ovation before the opening faceoff for the popular Koivu, who was not offered a contract after the 2008-09 season and signed as a free agent with Anaheim. They cheered again as he was named one of the three stars.

"For some reason I was so nervous before the game that physically I didn't feel well," the 36-year-old said. "But I got my legs going as the game went on.

"It was maybe the toughest game I've ever played."

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