MONTREAL (AP) _ Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu is hurt again, this time with a knee injury that might sideline him as long as two months.

The injury is believed to be a strained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. He was injured during the first period of a 3-1 loss to the Rangers in New York on Wednesday night.

Koivu twisted the knee while trying to avoid a check from Eric Lacroix in the neutral zone.

He is to undergo an MRI exam this week, but a team doctor's early assessment said Koivu might be out six weeks to two months.

``We played without Saku last year for a long time, so we'll do the same thing,'' said general manager Rejean Houle, shortly after recalling wingers Jason Ward and Juha Lind from the minors. ``There's no use to panic at this time of year.''

Last season, the Canadiens lost a record 536 man-games to injuries. Koivu, his shoulder and knee ailing, missed 58 games.

Sergei Zholtok probably will replace the star center on the team's top-scoring line.

``It's pretty emotional in the dressing room,'' said Zholtok, who led the club with 26 goals last season. ``He put in so much work this summer to get in shape. And to see him get injured like this, that's tough.''