Tyler Johnson’s OT goal lifts Bolts over Habs in matchup of East leaders
Canadiens goaltender Carey Price put on another show but it just wasn’t quite enough to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning.
About a minute into overtime, Tyler Johnson beat the NHL’s leader in nearly every goaltending statistic to lift the Lightning to a 1-0 win Tuesday night in a battle between Eastern Conference leaders.
Johnson picked up his own rebound and saw the puck go in off defenseman Tom Gilbert’s skate to end the high-paced matchup.
"They got a puck toward the net and they got a lucky bounce," said Price. "We had a guy trying to do the job in front and it was just a tough break.
The point Montreal (42-18-7) got for the OT loss kept it atop the Atlantic Division, one ahead of Tampa Bay (42-20-6) with a game in hand. The Canadiens tied Nashville and Anaheim at a league-leading 91 points, and have a game on both.
Ben Bishop secured his third shutout of the season as Tampa Bay earned its fourth straight victory.
The Bolts have owned the Canadiens this season, winning their three meetings by a combined 12-3 margin. They face each other twice more this month. Montreal swept Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs last spring.
"We have a different team than when we played them in the playoffs last year," said Lightning star Steven Stamkos. "Bishop’s a big part of that."
The Lightning outshot Montreal 36-19 overall, including 10-2 in the third period and 3-0 in overtime when the Canadiens seemed to run out of fuel in their first contest back from a four-game west coast road trip.
Time and again, though, the Lightning were foiled by Price.
"I don’t think we were fazed tonight," added Stamkos. "We realized we were getting chances and he was making big saves.
The 21,000 fans in Montreal were treated to hockey at a frantic pace, but no goals through three periods between two of the Eastern Conference’s fastest teams.
The Lightning had a 35-19 shot advantage, including 10-2 in the third period.
There were chances at both ends, with Price and Bishop letting nothing slip through. Late in the second, the Canadiens had a chance on a two-on-one break, but Bishop stopped Max Pacioretty and then thrust out a pad to block Jacob de la Rose on the rebound.
Midway through the third, Price had the crowd chanting when he robbed Ryan Callahan on a point-blank shot. He stopped 35 shots.
Still, Tampa Bay became the first team to defeat Price three times this season. He leads the NHL with 37 wins, one ahead of Nashville’s Pekka Rinne.
The Lightning’s Ondrej Palat, who winced when taking a shot off the leg late in the second period, did not return for the third with a lower-body injury.
Notes: Trade deadline acquisitions Jeff Petry, Brian Flynn and Torrey Mitchell played their first home games for Montreal. … The Canadiens made no changes to their lineup, scratching P.A. Parenteau, Manny Malhotra and Mike Weaver . … With J.T. Brown out with an upper-body ailment, Vladislav Namestnikov played for Tampa Bay. Nikita Nesterov was scratched.