for this game

Lightning rally past Canadiens

Dec 30, 2011 - 6:20 AM
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Vincent Lecavalier netted the game-winning goal in the third period as the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Montreal Canadiens, 4-3, at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Steven Stamkos, JT Wyman, and Marc-Andre Bergeron also scored, while Steve Downie contributed a pair of assists for the Lightning, who have won back-to- back contests. Mathieu Garon made 31 stops for the victory.

David Desharnais had a goal and an assist, while Michael Cammalleri and Erik Cole scored for the Canadiens, who have lost six of their last seven games. Carey Price was tagged for all four goals on 22 shots.

Trailing 3-1 with 12:46 gone in the second period, the Lightning used three unanswered goals to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Tampa Bay pulled to within one at 17:38 of the second period when Wyman fought through tough checking in the neutral zone and fired a shot from the right point that just squeezed through the pads of Price and across the goal line.

Then, the Lightning tied it at three 2 1/2 minutes into the second period when Bergeron tipped it home off a great feed from Downie.

Lecavalier's winner came at 8:37 of the final period when Wyman fired a shot from a tough angle to the left of the net that was stopped by Price, but he left a rebound sitting in the slot and the Lightning captain fired it home to put his team in front for good.

"We still have some things to work on," Stamkos said. "But we're finding ways to win games, whereas before we were finding ways to lose games. We did a lot of positive things and didn't panic."

Montreal pulled Price with less than a minute to go and got some great shots on net in the final minute, but Garon stood tall and preserved the win.

Tampa Bay opened the scoring just 3:43 into the first period when Pavel Kubina fired a shot from the point that was tipped home by Stamkos in front, but the Canadiens responded with the next three goals.

Montreal tied the game at 8:42 while on the power play. Holding the puck in the left circle, Raphael Diaz moved around behind the net and found Cammalleri, who fired it top shelf on Garon from the right circle.

The Habs took a 2-1 lead five minutes into the second period when Desharnais snapped one past Garon from the right circle off a nice drop pass by Andrei Kostitsyn, and then made it 3-1 when Max Pacioretty retrieved a loose puck in the right corner and found a cutting Cole, who snapped it past Garon.

"We had some opportunities that we couldn't capitalize on," Cole said. "Its been like a broken record this year, we had a 3-1 lead and we wind up losing the hockey game. It continues to be a problem and we need to sort it out."

Game Notes

Garon played in his 300th career NHL game...Lightning defenseman Matt Gilroy made his return to the lineup after missing four games with an upper-body injury...Both clubs are in action on Saturday, as Tampa Bay will wrap up its three-game homestand with a visit from the Carolina Hurricanes, while Montreal will remain in the Sunshine State to face the Florida Panthers.