Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning falls to Canadiens (w/ video)

MONTREAL — Coach Jon Cooper said a "budding rivalry" has been brewing with the Lightning and Canadiens, a product of battling in the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

Though that took a hiatus last season, with Montreal missing the playoffs, it looks like another chapter in the rivalry could be added this spring. If Thursday's game, a 3-1 Lightning loss at the Bell Centre, is any indication, these teams are evenly matched and will likely battle for the top spots in the Atlantic Division.

"That's the way it seems like," wing Alex Killorn said. "I know it's early in the season to say that, but they're a team that plays similar to us, have got some great players. They kind of changed that team over the summer. But we know what we're capable of. It's the first of four (regular-season) meetings, and it'll be exciting."

For a late October game, there was a noticeable buzz around town about this showdown. Part of it was that Montreal (7-0-1), coming off a win over the Islanders the night before, was undefeated in regulation, and it stayed that way to move five points ahead of the Lightning (5-2-0) in the division. The teams were ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in nhl.com's power rankings.

Tampa Bay not only lost the game, it lost star wing Nikita Kucherov, who left after the first period with an undisclosed injury. Coach Jon Cooper didn't know how long Kucherov would be out but hoped it wouldn't be too long. The issue wasn't concussion-related, he said.

"(Kucherov is) one of our best players, and he's dynamic out there," Killorn said. "Especially in a game like this, when you're down, he's a guy you look to to score."

There wasn't much room to maneuver in the very tight-checking game. It took 12 minutes for the Lightning to get its first shot on goal, partly a product of Tampa Bay playing "too simple," Killorn said.

Killorn gave the Lightning the lead late in the second, picking up his team-leading sixth goal. He deflected a brilliant slap pass from the point by defenseman Victor Hedman.

"(Killorn has) been hot lately, so I tried to put it on his stick," Hedman said. "He did the rest."

The Canadiens battled back with three third-period goals. Alex Galchenyuk tied it on a power-play goal six minutes in, a one-timer from the right circle.

Midway through the third, Max Pacioretty floated a wrist shot through traffic, and a significant screen by Andrew Shaw, to beat goalie Ben Bishop, who had another stellar duel with the Canadiens' Carey Price. Montreal was 1-for-3 with the man advantage, the Lightning 0-for-3.

"Their power play came through, ours didn't," Hedman said. "That was the difference in the game."

Montreal added an empty-netter to seal the win.

Bishop (23 saves) and Price (30) lived up to their Vezina Trophy-caliber statuses. And with three more meetings between the teams, the next Dec. 28 in Tampa, there will likely be more of the same.

"We wanted to make this a tight game," Hedman said. "And it was."

Canadiens 0 0 3 3
Lightning 0 1 0 1

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesNamestnikov, TB, (hooking), 2:23.

Second Period1, Tampa Bay, Killorn 6 (Stralman, Hedman), 16:08. PenaltiesBeaulieu, MTL, Major (fighting), 2:56; Paquette, TB, Major (fighting), 2:56; Johnson, TB, (tripping), 5:32; Lehkonen, MTL, (holding), 19:37.

Third Period2, Montreal, Galchenyuk 2 (Petry, Markov), 6:12 (pp). 3, Montreal, Pacioretty 2 (Pateryn, Shaw), 10:23. 4, Montreal, Mitchell 4, 19:16. PenaltiesMarkov, MTL, (delay of game), 1:26; Nesterov, TB, (roughing), 4:58; Shaw, MTL, (holding), 19:26. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 4-13-14—31. Montreal 9-8-9—26. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 3; Montreal 1 of 3. GoaliesTampa Bay, Bishop 3-2-0 (25 shots-23 saves). Montreal, Price 4-0-0 (31-30). A21,288 (21,273). T2:32.

Lightning falls to Canadiens (w/ video) 10/27/16 [Last modified: Friday, October 28, 2016 7:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  2. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  3. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  4. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …

    Twitter