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game recap

Habs win fourth straight against struggling Bolts

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:06 AM

NHL.com

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Habs win fourth straight against struggling Bolts
Montréal Canadiens 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 2
Make it four in a row for the Montreal Canadiens -- and three for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Max Pacioretty scored two goals and Carey Price made 43 saves to lead the Canadiens to a 4-2 victory against the Bolts at the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday night.

Price stopped all but three of the 116 shots he faced during a three-game road sweep of Southeast opponents Atlanta, Florida and Tampa Bay. The win gave Montreal a stretch of four consecutive victories for the third time this year, tying a season-high.

"I think Carey was a definite factor in the win tonight," Montreal coach Jacques Martin said. "We got two power-play goals that were huge and I thought our penalty kill worked extremely well."

The Canadiens went up 2-0 when Hal Gill and David Desharnais beat Dwayne Roloson 3:14 apart in the first period. Tampa Bay hadn't allowed a goal in the opening period for six straight games.

Gill, a defenseman, has scored in back-to-back games after going 99 without one.

Tampa Bay, losers in three straight, remains in third place at the top of the Eastern Conference standings, two points ahead of Montreal, who is sixth with 79 points.

"You battle a lot of adversity throughout the year and right now we're in the middle of it," Lightning forward Martin St. Louis said. "We've been facing adversity all year. We knew this wasn't going to be easy. We've been grinding it out all year."

The Canadiens avenged two previous losses to Tampa Bay, including one early in the season at the Bell Centre and an additional contest in Tampa Bay on Dec. 30.

Saturday night, it took advantage of Tampa Bay’s slow start to open the game.

Montreal went up by a pair of early goals when Gill made it 1-0 after opening the scoring with a slap shot through traffic at 5:27 and Desharnais doubled the lead on the power play with a nifty backhand past Rolson 3:14 later.

Gill, who had not scored in 99 previous games, has goals in two straight.

The Lightning, who set a season-high team record with 45 shots on goal, failed to notch the game’s opening goal for the first time in six games. Tampa Bay also had not allowed an opposing first-period goal since Feb. 17 in a 6-2 loss to Detroit.

"I'm not surprised, I'm shocked by our slow start," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "Our urgency level was very low and theirs was very high. The teams that are chasing us right now seem to have more urgency."

Dominic Moore cut the deficit in half on the power play to open scoring in the second.

Montreal limited to the Lightning to just one goal on six opportunities with the man advantage. The Canadiens showed why their road penalty kill ranks third in the NHL when it killed off a 5-on-3 Tampa Bay power play early in the third period.

"Our guys did a great job," Martin said. "I thought that was huge at that time in the hockey game."

The Canadiens went back up by a goal at 14:05 of the second. Pacioretty gathered a rebound out in front and restored the lead with the man advantage, then put in his second of the night at 1:18 in the third to make it 4-1.

Lecavalier closed the scoring with 5:53 to go.

"It took us a while to get going in this game," St. Louis said. "I know that we have to bring our best game from the get-go. I know if we do that we can be better than this."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.

scoring summary
1st Period
05:27
MTL
Hal Gill (2) Slapshot - ASST: Brian Gionta (12), Tomas Plekanec (30)
1 - 0 MTL
08:41
MTL
PPG - David Desharnais (8) Backhand shot - ASST: Andrei Kostitsyn (21)
2 - 0 MTL
2nd Period
01:25
TBL
PPG - Dominic Moore (12) Wrist shot - ASST: Pavel Kubina (19), Teddy Purcell (26)
2 - 1 MTL
14:05
MTL
PPG - Max Pacioretty (13) Wrist shot - ASST: Tomas Plekanec (31), P.K. Subban (22)
3 - 1 MTL
3rd Period
01:18
MTL
Max Pacioretty (14) Snap shot - ASST: Scott Gomez (25)
4 - 1 MTL
14:07
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier (16) Wrist shot - ASST: Dominic Moore (12), Teddy Purcell (27)
4 - 2 MTL
penalty summary
1st Period
08:08
TBL
Sean Bergenheim  Roughing against  Max Pacioretty
19:28
MTL
Lars Eller  Tripping against  Steven Stamkos
2nd Period
03:56
MTL
Benoit Pouliot  Elbowing against  Martin St. Louis
05:20
TBL
Steven Stamkos  Tripping against  Brian Gionta
12:26
TBL
Steven Stamkos  Hooking against  P.K. Subban
14:45
MTL
Lars Eller  Holding the stick against  Vincent Lecavalier
3rd Period
03:13
MTL
Mike Cammalleri  Interference against  Dominic Moore
03:42
MTL
Travis Moen  Hooking against  Steven Stamkos
19:11
MTL
Jeff Halpern  Hi stick - double minor against  Vincent Lecavalier
19:35
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier  Hooking against  P.K. Subban
goalie stats
Carey Price
SA: 45TOI: 60:00
Saves: 43EV: 38 - 39
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .956SH: 0 - 0
Dwayne Roloson
SA: 23TOI: 58:15
Saves: 19EV: 15 - 17
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 5
SV%: .826SH: 1 - 1