NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Tampa Bay |
(Wednesday, December 28th)
Final Score: Montreal 4, Tampa Bay 3
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Pierre Dagenais scored the tie-breaking goal in
the third period and Jose Theodore was outstanding in his return to the
Montreal lineup as the Canadiens earned a 4-3 victory over Tampa Bay at St.
Pete Times Forum.
Theodore, who hadn't played since December 15 because of a sore knee, stopped
41 of 44 shots to help the Canadiens put an end to a nine-game road losing
Alex Kovalev recorded two assists, while Sheldon Souray and Richard Zednik
each had power-play goals in the win, just Montreal's second in six games
"It's a hell of a team win and I hope it's going to put us back on track,"
said Dagenais. "I think if we play like that, the way (the team) played
tonight, we've got a chance to beat everybody in the league."
Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Craig and Pavel Kubina all scored for the Lightning,
who have dropped five of their last six.
Dagenais blasted a shot from the right point past John Grahame seconds after
a Canadiens' faceoff win to break a 3-3 deadlock with 11:26 remaining.
Tampa Bay, which finished 0-of-5 on the power play, had two extra-skater
opportunities following Dagenais' tally, including a brief 5-on-3. Theodore
was up to the task, however, and made 15 saves over the last 20 minutes to
keep the Lightning at bay.
"I felt we did some really good things," said Tampa Bay head coach John
Tortorella. "I thought our counters were good tonight. We end up with 18
scoring chances to 10 (for Montreal). We can't have four goals go in our net
on 10 chances. Especially the fourth goal."
Grahame finished with just 20 saves.
Zednik gave Montreal a 3-2 edge with a re-direction of a Mark Streit shot less
than two minutes into the final period. Tampa Bay would draw even just over
two minutes later when Kubina poked in a rebound.
Kovalev whirled behind the net and fed Jan Bulis for a one-timer 5:30 into the
contest to give the Canadiens an early advantage. Theodore helped keep it a
one-goal game with 13 stops in the first period, including a diving pad save
of Martin St. Louis in close with the Lightning on the power play.
Souray ripped the puck through a screened Grahame on a 5-on-3 with 3:39
elapsed in the second period to make it a 2-0 game. Tampa Bay, however, would
score twice before the intermission to knot the score.
Lecavalier beat Theodore on a breakaway at the 13:17 mark, and Craig scored
after Theodore stopped Tim Taylor's wraparound try with 1:02 remaining in the
Taylor and Rob DiMaio each had two assists for Tampa Bay...The Lightning's
Vaclav Prospal extended his point streak to six games with an assist on
Lecavalier's marker...Montreal's last road win came at Buffalo on November 4
and was one loss shy of matching a team-record for consecutive road defeats,
set in 1926...The Canadiens went 2-for-6 on the power play...Montreal won the
only other meeting between the clubs this year, a 3-2 decision on November 8.
12/28 23:14:59 ET