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Montr?al Canadiens 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 5 FINAL @NHL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Not even a dismal start could slow the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Vincent Lecavalier scored the go-ahead goal with 5:04 left, and the Lightning overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 Thursday night.

Tampa Bay scored four goals on 23 shots during the third period in winning for just the second time when trailing after two (2-13-2).

``We came in sound asleep ... we weren't ready to play,'' Lightning coach John Tortorella said. ``The team stayed together. We just kept coming.''

Lecavalier, who also had two assists, was positioned in the low slot when he redirected Darryl Sydor's shot past Jose Theodore.

``Obviously, it feels good coming back,'' Lecavalier said. ``It proves we've got a lot of character. Everybody stepped up to the plate.''

Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards each scored two goals for the Lightning. St. Louis got Tampa Bay even at 2 with bad-angle goals in the second and third periods.

The Lightning are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games.

Saku Koivu had a goal and two assists for the Canadiens. Andrei Markov and Jan Bulis scored the other Montreal goals.

``It's always OK if you get some points,'' Koivu said. ``But when you blow the lead, it's pretty frustrating.''

After wasting a two-goal lead, the Canadiens went up 3-2 on Bulis' goal at 7:45 of the third. The Lightning tied it when Richards scored at 13:37.

Richards scored his second of the game into an empty net with 15.4 seconds to go.

``We did what we had to do,'' said Tampa Bay's Ruslan Fedotenko, who had three third-period assists. ``We started shooting the puck. We just tried to dominate and keep putting the puck in the net. It paid off.''

Montreal is 22-3-0 when leading after 40 minutes.

``We just lost our composure,'' coach Claude Julien said. ``We seemed like a team that was panicking for whatever reason. It ended up costing us. It's as simple as that.''

The Canadiens took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Koivu and Markov.

Koivu scored on a backhander after Tampa Bay defenseman Pavel Kubina blocked his pass during a two-on-one at 4:28. Koivu then assisted on Markov's power-play goal from the top of the right circle with 3:06 left.

St. Louis made it 2-1 with a power-play goal at 6:22 of the second. The right wing's shot from along the goal line went in off Theodore.

Just 36 seconds after Richards hit the post, St. Louis tied it at 2 at 4:44 of the third when his shot from near the boards just in front the goal line deflected off Koivu.

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