Monday, November 9, 2009

Lightning fly past Habs

A fast start and hot goaltending were the difference Saturday night, as the Tampa Bay Lightning won in Montreal Saturday night, beating the Canadiens 3-1 in front of 21,273 at the Bell Centre.

The Lightning scored twice in the opening period. Ryan Malone's 10th goal of the year, coming on the power play at 10:09, put Tampa Bay up 1-0. In the final minute, Alex Tanguay followed up a rebound and gunned it home for his third goal of the year at 19:13, giving the Lightning a 2-0 lead after one.

Each team lit the lamp once in the second. Brian Gionta scored a power play goal for Montreal at 9:44 to make it 2-1. Then, James Wright tipped the puck in on a goal mouth scramble late in the period. The goal, scored at 18:01 survived a video replay, and gave Tampa Bay the two-goal lead once again, 3-1 through 40 minutes.

Antero Niittymaki took over in the third for the Bolts, making 15 saves to preserve the lead and the 3-1 win, giving the Lightning 10 wins in Montreal in the last 11 years.

Niittymaki made 36 saves for Tampa Bay, who were outshout 37-21. Carey Price had 18 stops for the Canadiens. Both teams scored once with the man advantage, the Lightning in three chances, Montreal scored on their only power play of the night.

The Lightning lost their first game of the four-game swing, but went 2-0-1 over the final three, improving to 6-4-5 for 17 points, good for second place in the Southeast, 7 behind division leading Washington and 2 ahead of third place Atlanta. The Canadiens slip to 8-9-0 for 16 points, fourth in the Northeast, but just 3 behind division leading Buffalo.

Tampa Bay plays twice at the St. Pete Times Forum this week, hosting Minnesota on Thursday and Los Angeles on Saturday. Both games start at 7:30p.m. EST and can be heard on 620 WDAE radio and seen on Sun Sports.

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