Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning loses to Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in overtime

Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec fires the puck for the winning goal on a two-on-one, with Kurtis Foster the Lightning’s one.

Associated Press

Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec fires the puck for the winning goal on a two-on-one, with Kurtis Foster the Lightning’s one.

TAMPA — Lightning coach Rick Tocchet acknowledged before Wednesday's game that the million-dollar question with his team is, why is it so roller-coaster-ish?

Tampa Bay has often followed up a couple of strong games, and wins, with a flat performance, making it difficult to gain momentum and get over .500.

It happened again in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Canadiens, who controlled play in the first two periods before Tampa Bay finally showed some life in the third.

Tampa Bay (15-15-10) salvaged a point, but considering it had won four of its previous five, failing to turn a two-game winning streak into three for the fourth time this season left players disappointed.

"Playing hard for 20 minutes isn't enough to win the game," said defenseman Kurtis Foster, who scored Tampa Bay's only goal. "It's nice to get a point, but it would have been nice to keep the ball rolling with some wins."

The Lightning would have left empty-handed if not for another impressive performance by goalie Mike Smith, who made 33 saves — many of them difficult — in keeping his team in the game. "Without Smitty," Marty St. Louis said, "we're not even close in this game."

That's because Tampa Bay came out flat in the first two periods, an effort Tocchet called "disheartening," especially considering coaches had stressed the past two days not getting complacent after Monday's victory over the Bruins. Tocchet delivered another message after the second period, his team trailing by one.

"It was a little of a gut check," Tocchet said. "I said after the second, 'Don't allow (yourselves) to lose this game, because … it's only 1-0.' You're going to be flat sometimes in the games, and good teams learn how to win those games."

Down because of a second-period goal by Brian Gionta, Tampa Bay responded with a third-period flurry, outshooting the Canadiens 13-4, with Montreal goalie Carey Price making strong saves of his own.

Foster tied it with a slap shot from the right point nearly four minutes in, but Montreal held on before winning it 3:32 into overtime. That's when Tomas Plekanec scored on a two-on-one started by a bad break for the Lightning.

Steven Stamkos fell down in the offensive zone with the puck. That pleased the heavily Canadiens-partisan crowd of 18,441 at the St. Pete Times Forum, which included a lot of red shirts and chants "Let's Go Habs!"

"I thought we took too long to get our fans in the game," Foster said. "And by the time we did, it was almost too late."

Canadiens 0 1 0 1 2
Lightning 0 0 1 0 1
Canadiens 0 1 0 1 2
Lightning 0 0 1 0 1

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesDownie, TB (hooking), 17:36; Metropolit, Mon (goaltender interference), 19:10.

Second Period1, Montreal, Gionta 9 (Markov, Gomez), 9:53. PenaltiesFoster, TB (high-sticking), 15:18; Gomez, Mon (roughing), 17:00; Smith, TB, served by Szczechura (roughing), 17:00; Hamrlik, Mon (slashing), 17:31.

Third Period2, Tampa Bay, Foster 6 (Hedman, St. Louis), 3:52. PenaltiesOhlund, TB (tripping), 6:30.

Overtime3, Montreal, Plekanec 9 (Cammalleri), 3:32. PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalMontreal 14-14-4-3—35. Tampa Bay 8-11-13-3—35. Power-play opportunitiesMontreal 0 of 3; Tampa Bay 0 of 2. GoaliesMontreal, Price 10-13-3 (35 shots-34 saves). Tampa Bay, Smith 8-10-6 (35-33). A18,441 (19,758).

Canadiens 2

Lightning 1


Tampa Bay Lightning loses to Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in overtime 12/30/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 11:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays' Evan Longoria: "We have all the belief in the world in here"


    The weekend sweep by Texas and four-game overall losing streak has some Rays fans - based on their tweets and emails - questioning the team's ability to make the playoffs and suggesting they might as well trade away their key parts.

  2. What are the odds the Rays trade for Brad Hand or Pat Neshek?


    In each of the last three seasons, the Rays have been sellers at the trade deadline. They shipped away David Price in 2014, got rid of David DeJesus and Kevin Jepsen in 2015 and flipped Matt Moore, Steve Pearce and Brandon Guyer in 2016.

    Padres left-hander Brad Hand has excelled in his two years with the team.
  3. Gerald McCoy cares too much about what you think of him

    The Heater

    Gerald McCoy is right. We are going to miss him when he's gone.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is one of 16 players to record at least five sacks in each of the past five seasons. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Ronde Barber says comments about McCoy 'sensationalized'


    If anyone thinks Ronde Barber was throwing shade at Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, think again.

    "That anyone would assume I would say the best player on the defense isn’t a bad dude is irresponsible and sensationalizing a quote to serve their own means,'' Ronde Barber said.
  5. USA Today sees Bucs as 10-6 wild card team in 2017


    Another day, another national outlet making NFL predictions, and this one is promising for Tampa Bay fans, as USA Today's Nate Davis has the Bucs going 10-6 and making the …

    Bucs DT Gerald McCoy tries to bring down Giants QB Eli Manning in a 2015 game. Tampa Bay and New York are both picked to finish 10-6 in USA Today's preseason predictions, both making the playoffs as wild cards.