Canadiens 4, Lightning 3, SO

A major meltdown nearly cost the Montreal Canadiens a

victory.

Carey Price stopped all three shots in the shootout, David

Desharnais had the lone goal in the tiebreaker, and the Canadiens

rebounded after blowing a three-goal lead to beat the Tampa Bay

Lightning 4-3 on Tuesday night.

”You know what? We came to win this hockey game, and this is

what we did,” Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. ”And we were

almost perfect for 54 minutes. We opened the door. We will learn

from it.”

Victor Hedman scored twice and Sami Salo added a power-play goal

during the final six minutes of regulation as the Lightning tied it

at 3.

Tampa Bay’s Anders Lindback made a series of strong saves during

a Montreal power play during overtime. He finished with 31 saves,

including six in the extra session.

Price was bidding for his 17th NHL shutout and first since Feb.

11, 2012, when Hedman scored with 5:56 to play.

”At the end of the day, as long as we’re getting wins, that’s

what really matters,” Price said. ”But, it would be nice to close

out one, that’s for sure.”

Hedman cut the deficit to 3-2 on an in-close goal that stood up

following a video review with 1:43 remaining. Salo tied it from

just inside the blue line with 43.3 seconds left.

Brian Gionta, P.K. Subban and Travis Moen scored for the

Canadiens, who were 0-2-1 over their previous three games. Price,

who stopped 21 shots during regulation, made shootout saves against

Hedman, Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos.

”That’s not the way we wanted to do it,” Gionta said. ”We had

a good two periods, then we sat back in the third and they got

themselves back into it.”

Tampa Bay, which opened the season 6-1, has since lost five in a

row (0-4-1).

”In the third period, our character showed up, again,” Tampa

Bay coach Guy Boucher said. ”We have to build on a positive.

That’s extremely positive.”

After Subban scored on a blue line shot at 8:21 of the second,

Moen made it 3-0 from the low slot with 1:06 to go in the period.

Moen snapped his 21-game goal drought, dating to Dec. 31, 2011,

against Florida.

Gionta put Montreal ahead 1-0 when he tipped a pass through the

crease from Tomas Plekanec past Lindback during a 5-on-3 power play

with 43 seconds left in the first.

Hedman received a roughing penalty that set up Tampa Bay’s

two-man disadvantage. The Lightning allowed one goal on seven

short-handed situations.

”A lot of the penalties … I won’t say anything,” Boucher

said.

Tampa Bay went 1 for 5 on the power play.

The Canadiens had a couple of quality scoring chances early in

the first. Lindback made a save on Colby Armstrong’s backhander

during a 2-on-1, and Andrei Markov hit the post with a drive.

Lindback also made a lunging blocker stop on Markov’s rebound

attempt.

Price stopped an in-close redirection by Vincent Lecavalier late

in the first, and had a glove save on Stamkos’ shot from the right

circle during a second-period power play.

Montreal’s Lars Eller had two assists.

NOTES: Tampa Bay LW Ryan Malone sat out his second straight game

and could miss three to four weeks because of an undisclosed

lower-body injury. … It was Gionta’s first goal in nine games.

… Lightning RW Richard Panik, recalled from Syracuse of the AHL

on Monday, made his NHL debut. … Armstrong has gone 24 games

without scoring a goal. He assisted on Moen’s goal for first point

in 17 games.