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NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Tampa Bay

(Saturday, March 4th)

Final Score: Tampa Bay 6, Montreal 2

Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Chris Higgins scored Montreal's first two goals, as the Canadiens went on to beat Tampa Bay 6-2 at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Richard Zednik, Mike Ribeiro, Alex Kovalev and Jan Bulis each scored a goal for Montreal, which won its third straight. Michael Ryder and Mathieu Dandenault both notched a pair of assists. Cristobal Huet recorded 27 saves for Montreal

Ruslan Fedotenko and Vincent Lecavalier scored the only two goals for Tampa Bay, which lost its second straight. John Grahame notched 16 saves for the Lightning.

Higgins scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 12 seconds after the first face-off to put Montreal up 1-0. He scored his second goal 4:54 in the second period assisted by Souray and Ryder on a power-play wrister in the top left corner of the goal.

"We are a little undisciplined right now, which is something that we have to clean up on the last half of this road trip," Higgins said. "But we're really happy and have a big high going into the last half of the season."

Fedotenko put Tampa Bay on the board with a wrister assisted by Pavel Kubina and Lecavalier tied the game up at 2-2 on a wrist shot assisted by Richards and Boyle just under a minute in the third period.

Montreal scored four straight goals thereafter to put the game away. Zednik scored 3:16 in the third period on a wrister assisted by Dandenault, who, with Alexander Perezhogin, set up the next goal by Ribeiro 6:42 in the third. Kovalev capped the streak with an unassisted wrister 8:56 in the third period.

"That one goal we gave up, and we went back into a shell a little bit," Tampa Bay forward Martin St. Louis said. "We didn't come back hard after that. We can't let that goal rattle us, we've just got to come back and be hungrier than the other team and I didn't see that."

Tomas Plekanec set up Bulis for a wrist shot 16:57 in the final period to ice the win.

Game Notes

Higgins' goal 12 seconds into the game set a franchise record for fastest start to a game, breaking the previous record of 13 seconds set by Mike Craig on November 17, 1992 in a 4-1 loss to the Minnesota North Stars...The Canadiens have won their first three games after the Olympic break. Montreal played the third portion of a four-game road trip and will visit Philadelphia on Monday...Tampa, meanwhile, lost in its return from the break, falling 8-2 to Florida on Tuesday. The Bolts will host Ottawa on Monday...The Canadiens are 3-0 against the Lightning this season, and have won five of the last seven meetings overall.

03/04 23:23:04 ET

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