NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Montreal
(Thursday, March 26th)
Final Score: Montreal 3, Tampa Bay 2 (OT)
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Saku Koivu scored the game-winning goal 1:45 into overtime to lift Montreal over Tampa Bay, 3-2, at Bell Centre.
Koivu fired a shot off the glove of a sliding Karri Ramo before sliding his rebound through the crease, then off Matt Lashoff's skate and into the net.
"I knew it hit his (Ramo) glove and he couldn't recover. I had a second try and it went off a player (Lashoff)," said Koivu.
Alex Kovalev and Guillaume Latendresse also scored for the Canadiens, who failed to protect a late two-goal lead but improved to 3-3-2 since general manager Bob Gainey abruptly fired head coach Guy Carbonneau and took over behind the bench on March 10.
Carey Price stopped 17 shots for Montreal, which holds the eighth spot in the East with 85 points. They are two points behind the Rangers for the seventh position after New York picked up a point for a shootout loss to Atlanta.
David Koci and Lukas Krajicek lit the lamp for the Lightning, who have lost four of their past five outings. Ramo turned aside a total of 33 shots in defeat.
"We played in our zone and we were chasing pucks. We killed ourselves out there," said Ramo.
Trailing 2-0, Koci started the Tampa comeback with a tip-in of a loose puck in the goal crease with 9:34 left in regulation. The score was Koci's first of the year.
Krajicek's shot from the right point got past Price due to traffic in front of the net. The score tied the game with 5:17 remaining and eventually sent the tilt into overtime before Koivu's heroics ended things.
After Montreal failed to capitalize on its initial power play, Kovalev lit the lamp during the Canadiens' second power play of the first period. The veteran forward took a cross-ice pass from Alex Tanguay, who was at the right point, before firing a shot home at the 11:09 mark.
Montreal outshot Tampa Bay 11-2 in the first frame, but could only manage one goal in the stanza.
The Canadiens also dominated the second period, outshooting the Lightning 13-6, but neither team could find the back of the net, sending the contest into the final 20 minutes with the home team still ahead 1-0.
Latendresse lit the lamp at the 5:48 mark of the third frame to extend Montreal's margin to 2-0. Latendresse charged down the left side of the ice and beat his defender as he went behind the net. His wrap-around attempt was a success as Ramo was late to block the post.
Montreal went 1-for-8 on the power play, while Tampa Bay went 0-for-1...The teams split four meetings this year, with each team winning once on home ice.
03/26 23:58:55 ET