Canadiens down struggling LightningJan 8, 2012 - 3:45 AM
Erik Cole also netted a goal for Montreal, while Carey Price stopped 23-of-24 shots as the Canadiens won consecutive games for the first time under head coach Randy Cunneyworth.
Cunneyworth has led Montreal to a 3-6 record after replacing the fired Jacques Martin last month.
Vincent Lecavalier scored the lone goal for the Lightning, losers of three straight.
Mathieu Garon allowed all three goals on 28 shots.
Lecavalier put the Lightning on top at the 3:24 mark of the first period when he redirected a Dominic Moore shot from the right corner past Price, and that goal held through the remainder of the period as Garon stopped all seven shots he faced.
But two second-period goals by Blunden and Pacioretty within two minutes of each other put Montreal on top.
Blunden struck first 5:44 into the middle stanza when he received a pass just to the left of the net and snuck a backhander through the short side.
Then, at the 7:17 mark, Pacioretty grabbed a long outlet pass by P.K. Subban near the Tampa Bay blue line and snapped a hard wrister past Garon from the right circle.
"It's been a while since I scored and tonight, getting that shot off, well I shot at the net and that's what happened," said Pacioretty. "We were able to keep [the lead] and that's the difference between winning and losing hockey games."
The one-goal difference held until the closing seconds of the third period when the Lightning's Marc-Andre Bergeron was whistled for a holding penalty to stop the Canadiens from recording an empty-netter with 30 seconds left in regulation.
Cole, though, tipped in a rebound 13 seconds later to account for the final margin.
Price made nine saves in the second period and seven saves in the third to hang on for the win.
"There were two teams that were battling. It was pretty even," Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. "The Canadiens worked hard and they deserve it."
Montreal has scored on the power play in eight of its last 12 games...Montreal improved to 7-7-6 at home this season, while Tampa Bay fell to 6-15-3 on the road...The Canadiens were 1-for-2 on the power play and the Lightning went 0- for-1 with the man advantage.
- TAMPA BAY: 1
Jan 7 9:42 PM
- Montreal Power-Play Goal - Erik Cole (17), from David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty at 19:43.
Lightning 1, Canadiens 3 3rd - 0:17Jan 7 9:42 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 1
End of 2nd
Jan 7 8:48 PM
- Montreal Goal - Max Pacioretty (12), at 7:17.
Lightning 1, Canadiens 2 2nd - 12:43Jan 7 8:23 PM
- Montreal Goal - Mike Blunden, at 5:44.
Lightning 1, Canadiens 1 2nd - 14:16Jan 7 8:20 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 1
End of 1st
Jan 7 7:54 PM
- Tampa Bay Goal - Vincent Lecavalier (15), at 3:24.
Lightning 1, Canadiens 0 1st - 16:36Jan 7 7:26 PM
- TAMPA BAY: 0
1st Period - 20:00
Jan 7 7:21 PM
- Penguins starting G Fleury in Game 5 May 23
- Penguins remove G Murray after second period May 23
- Johnson's OT deflection lifts Lightning over Penguins 4-3 May 23
- Lightning-Penguins Preview May 21
- Murray or Fleury? Penguins weighing options in goal May 21
- Friday's Sports In Brief May 21
- Lightning beat Penguins 4-3, even Eastern Conference finals May 21
- Penguins find higher gear against Lightning in East finals May 20
- Penguins-Lightning Preview May 19
- Crosby, Kessel help Penguins beat Lightning 4-2 in Game 3 May 19
- Confident Lightning feel Penguins haven't see their best May 18
- Penguins-Lightning Preview May 17