for this game

Canadiens down struggling Lightning

Jan 8, 2012 - 3:45 AM
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Mike Blunden and Max Pacioretty each scored in the second period to lead the Montreal Canadiens past the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-1, on Saturday.

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."

Game Notes

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.